Somewhere in us there is a sweet spot of peace. This spot is like a shelter. It shields us from the pressure, stress and worries that comes from living our worldly life. Under it we are always calm. It is a spot to retreat into when we are burdened by our load of responsibilities and troubled by unfulfilled expectations. The peace and calm give us confidence, an assured knowing that the storms in life will blow over. Here we are blessed with a patient wait and healing rest.
“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.” (Today’s Gospel)
This sweet spot beckons us. “Come to me”. We must have the intent to go to it. We can be saddled with many challenges in life. Unable to cope we become overburdened. We are saddled because we are not spiritually prepared and do not want these challenges. When we are overburdened, we are crushed by its weight. Our intent to reach the peace within us must begin with an intention to consciously take up our daily challenges.
Christ said, “Take up your cross and follow me”. “Take up” requires our personal intent. When we are prepared for something heavy, we carry it better. Sometimes we mistake taking up the cross as suffering. Suffering comes when our burdens crush us, but even when that happens, today tell us there is peace in suffering. Today, we are invited to come and take up the yoke of Christ. “Shoulder my yoke and learn from me”. No one breezes through life. Daily life challenges are inevitable. Life must be ploughed through.
Today’s passage tells us of rest stops for our spirit as we make our way through our responsibilities and expectations. Intentionally shouldering the yoke of Christ is telling ourselves that the goal of our earthly life is to reach the riches of heaven. It rearranges our life priorities and readjust our focus. Then as we make our way through our day, we must seek the presence of the Risen Christ who is always present accompanying us on our journey through life. We must look for him in the moments of time so that we can learn from him. To find peace and rest, we must with intent shift our focus onto our spiritual life.
“Your interests are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you.” (Second Reading).
There will always exist a tension between our spiritual and unspiritual world, our spiritual need, and our worldly needs. And life will get tougher before it gets any easier as we exit the lockdowns. In this tension we find ourselves searching and seeking for meaning in all this. We will hear our inner voice trying to pull us one way when we want to go the other way. Pay attention and listen. It is probably saying, “Come to me”.
Take up and shoulder that yoke with intent and the load we must carry through daily life will be lighter for my yoke is easy, my burden light.
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time