A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Come to me, all who labour…

"Come to me ..."

Jesus says: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The Lord does not reserve this phrase for some of His friends, no, he addresses all 'those that are tired and oppressed by life. And who can feel excluded from this invitation? The Lord knows what a burden life can be. He knows that many things weary the heart: past disappointments and wounds, burdens to carry and wrongs to be endured in the present, uncertainties and worries for the future.

In dark moments ...

In face of all this, Jesus’ first word is an invitation, an invitation to move and react: “Come.” The mistake, when things go badly, is to stay where one is, lying there. It seems evident, but how difficult it is to react and open oneself! It’s not easy. In dark moments, it is natural to stay with oneself, to brood over how unjust life is, over how ungrateful others are and how evil the world is, and so on. We all know it. We have suffered this awful experience sometimes.  But thus, closed in on ourselves, we see everything as dark. Jesus wants to extricate us from this quicksand and therefore He says to each one: “Come!” – “Who?” – “You, you, you.” The way out is in relation, in extending the hand and raising one’s eyes towards the One who really loves us.

Go to Jesus ...

In fact, to come out of oneself isn’t enough, it is necessary to know where to go, because so many aims are illusory: they promise rest and distract somewhat, assuring peace and giving amusement, then leaving one in the solitude of before; they are 'fireworks.' Therefore, Jesus points out where to go: “Come to me.” Let us not forget to open ourselves to him and to tell him about our life, to entrust people and situations to him. Perhaps there are areas of our life that we have never opened to Him and that have remained dark, because they have never seen the Lord’s light. Each one of us has his/her own story. And if someone has this dark area, seek Jesus, go to a missionary of mercy, go to a priest, go . . . But go to Jesus, and tell this to Jesus. Today He says to each one of us: “Courage, do not give in to the burdens of life, do not close yourself in face of fears and sins, but come to me!”

He always waits for us ...

He waits for us, he always waits for us, not to resolve our problems magically, but to make us strong in our problems. Jesus does not remove the burdens of life, but the anguish of heart; He does not take the cross away from us, but carries it with us. And with him, every burden becomes light (See Matthew 11:30), because he is the rest that we seek. When Jesus enters our life, peace comes, peace that remains even in trials, in sufferings.

Go to Jesus and, while in the summer months we will seek a bit of rest from what wearies the body, let us not forget to find true rest in the Lord. May the Virgin Mary our Mother, who always takes care of us when we are tired and oppressed, help us in this and take us to Jesus.

Source: Zenit, 9 July 2017

"Have no fear"

The disciple is called to conform himself to Christ’s own life, who was persecuted, knew rejection, abandonment and death on the cross. Difficulties and tribulations are part of the work of evangelisation, and we are called to find in them the occasion to verify the authenticity of our faith and of our relationship with Jesus. In the difficulties of Christian witness in the world, we are never forgotten, but always helped by the Father’s loving concern. Therefore, in Matthew 10:26-33, three times Jesus reassures the disciples saying: “Have no fear!”

Pray for the persecuted

Nowadays also, Christians are persecuted. We pray for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted and we praise God because, despite this, they continue to give witness to their faith with courage and fidelity. May their example help us not to hesitate in taking a position in favour of Christ, giving witness to him courageously in everyday situations, even in apparently peaceful contexts.

In all of this the Lord continues to say to us: “Have no fear!” When we have some tribulation, some persecution, something that makes us suffer, we must always listen to Jesus’ voice in our heart: “Have no fear! Have no fear; go on! I am with you!” Have no fear of one who derides you and mistreats you.  Jesus does not leave us alone: each one is precious for Jesus, and He accompanies us.

Source: Zenit 25 June 2017

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