A reading from the gospel of Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Reflection: In Jesus, we find total comfort.
One of the most comforting words of Jesus in all four gospels is the short gospel passage above. Anyone who feels tired, emotionally drained, disappointed, abandoned, or depressed can easily be uplifted by the comforting promise of Jesus that He will give rest.
All of us have problems in life. Big or small, these problems burden us and make us sad, tired and distressed. When these problems go unsolved for a long time, we feel disappointed and become depressed.
So what do we do to solve our problem? To whom do we seek help? Many discomforting studies are showing a lot of people turning to sleeping pills or dangerous drugs to forget their problems or to ease their pains. Others become violent and inflict pain on others. Some people commit suicide to stop all together their suffering.
Here is the Good News. To all those who are alone and in need of someone to talk to, those who have no one to ask for help, and those who feel lost, lonely and hopeless, worry no more. There is someone to turn to, someone who can listen to our endless complaints, a shoulder to cry on, or even a punching bag. He is Jesus who says, come to me.
What an invitation! When people ignore us or friends forsake us and family is no longer dependable, we turn to Jesus. With child-like trust coupled with expectant faith and humility, we are assured of complete rest from all our sufferings and pain.
In Jesus, we find total comfort.
Some of us need to wake up early in the morning, go to work for long hours each day and come home late in the evening very tired. Then at payday, we receive our salary and spend them all even before the next payday. For some, this situation leads to a broken relationship which makes the problem even bigger and more complicated. Then we hear the voice of Jesus inviting us to turn to Him for help.
Psalm 139:14 tells us that we are wonderfully and fearfully made and this is enough reason to praise God. Yet in Psalm 102, we read a prayer of a suffering person who has become weak. Indeed, we are wonderful creatures and yet, we are suffering because of sin. Our disobedience, rebelliousness and pride led us into a world where we need to labor hard just to survive and to endure many other hardships. So we experience anxiety, weariness, and loneliness. That is our life away from God.
Driven out of paradise we were, God did not forget us. He continued to love us and He has sent His only Son to rescue us from our hopelessness.
The gospel reading above shows Jesus offering an invitation. He wants us to find real happiness. With open arms, He invites us to turn to Him. He does not have the solution to our problems because HE IS THE SOLUTION. He is all that we need in this world full of suffering. He gives us the strength to carry on and the wisdom to have a clearer view of our problems. Then we can now figure out how to solve the problem.
Of course, this is not to say that with Jesus, all our sufferings will have a solution in an instant. He is offering a way through, not a way out, of suffering. Believe in Jesus we may, we will still suffer and like Jesus at Gethsemane, we may pray for the cup of suffering to pass from us. Yet the Lord has shown us that embracing suffering is actually is a path to purification and that suffering will lead us to resurrection.