We cannot rest and we can’t find that rest. Life today has an uncontrollable momentum. We are in pursuit, chasing happiness and contentment. We want more of what we already have, and we persistently try to up our living standards. Occasionally riding on the crest of success, we find gratification. Then soon enough we realise we are not at rest. We rev up again.
Life has gone onto the bully fast track especially in more affluent cities. We are held at ransom for even our basic needs. If we are not up to speed to join the chase, it is conceivable that we are without a job, the currency needed to fund our earthly existence. Joining the race is not an option, the world has bullied us into it.
It is an arduous race. God knows that this earthly journey of ours will leave us laboured and overburdened. He does not say to quit the race but instead offer to accompany us running it.
“Come”. In the madness of this world He is there. In our frenetic daily life, God is too slow for us. Things need to be done and His ways are either irrelevant or will peg us back. When we rest, we drink the juice of self-gratification. But we eventually find that we cannot quench our thirst. Yet he says, “Come”.
Bread will turn into stone. Our enthusiastic eager pursuit of worldly happiness will turn laborious and become a burden. We will eventually discover that the rest we gained is no rest at all. Not for who we are.
We are created beings. Created by the one God, and of that spiritual nature the readings says, “Your interests are not in the unspiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you … so then … there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives”.
To try to live in this world and to do our best in it is in itself not unspiritual. We only become unspiritual when we choose to cut out the way of God and adopt the way of the world as our only way. Both ways exist but the way of the world must be within the way of God.
He is present in the frenzy of daily life. He is there in every setback we encounter beckoning us to “come”. Even if we have drifted so far away, his call to “come” echoes in the emptiness of our faith life. Actually he already knows that we are quite far away otherwise why does he need to beckon us to “come”?
The world will cruelly make us an underdog. But he is humble and meek. While we pedal in meekness in the fast and powerful lanes of life we find solace in his invitation today. “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest”. The rest he wants to give is true rest; peace that only he can give, one which the world cannot as it continues to zoom by. So come … deposit your burden and “you will find rest for your souls”.
14th Sunday Ordinary Time