The words of Jesus that we hear in the Gospel today are spoken after the death of John the Baptist, after the rejection of the gospel in Chorazin, in Bethsaida, and even his ‘own town’ of Capernaum. These reject but others, perhaps surprising others, accept the Gospel. And for this Jesus blesses his Father.
As you read the passage, what word, phrase, or sentence stands out for you?
You might hold on to that word, phrase, or sentence, and let it remain present to you over the coming hours, pondering it in your heart. Then bring the fruits of your pondering to God in prayer.
Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
This gospel passage is so often heard at Funerals, offering comfort and hope to those who mourn, and who have often enough seem family of friends struggle for months or years under the burden of chronic sickness or terminal illness.
It is a passage, of course, originally spoken to those in the prime of life.
It challenges we who struggle on, trying to save the world by our own efforts, to wise-up, and learn other ways.
It invites us to learn the ways of faith, and by them to come close to Christ who helps shoulder our load and shares with us his burden of love and service – a burden borne in his ministry of gentleness and respect.
Image of St Therese of Lisieux taken from https://www.facebook.com/SaintThereseofLisieux/photos_stream