Zech 9:9-10; Rom 8:9, 11-13; Matt 11:25-30
“Come to me” – you burdened. Who doesn’t feel burdened from time to time? Listen to this description of life and see if it applies to you: “unremitting toil and effort…subject to constant interruptions, unexpected demands… beset with disappointments and usually misunderstood; yet peace all the same, undeviating, filled with joy and gratitude and love” (Rumer Godden’s novel, In This House of Brede). We can all relate to that first part. We all have stresses. So doesn’t the Heart of Christ.
The feast of the Sacred Heart. The Sacred Heart takes all human burdens to Himself. The flames of love extend outward to console us in mercy. The image of the Sacred Heart is surmounted by a crown of thorns. As the heart of Christ expands in sympathy for human suffering, it is pierced by those thorns. The heart of Christ suffers with us and wants to comfort us. How?
If we bring our losses, griefs, angers, disappointments, failures, messes, illnesses, deaths of those we love, whatever weighs us down, on the personal level and in the world: earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, terrorist attacks. Christ will refresh us, if we let him: “Come, you burdened.” He can give us rest. If we depend on him and count for and be attentive to his tender mercies,
Rest. Each of us does it differently. When we rest, we are better able to see beyond immediate events, see above the hubbub and catch a glimpse of the Divine sparking light around us. So take time to rest. Take early in the morning at Brightleaf, I hear the birds chirp and the morning doves coo. I can feel it. Where do you feel it? It is “felt long the heart,” one poet says; another poet says, “in the deep hearts core.” That’s the deep peace and rest that Christ brings through the slower, long, light days of summer and the comfort of good friends.
But if we bring Christ our burdens, he, in the mercy from his heart, can lift us. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, (Edith Stein) puts it like this: “God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with him. Then you will be able to rest in him – really rest – and start the next day as a new life.”
Let’s put it all in Christ’s hands—in his Heart. Let’s depend on this peace and rest in it.
Introduction to the Penitential Rite
Merciful God, we turn to you in the hope that we may better praise, bless, and give you thanks.
- Lord Jesus, your Spirit dwells in us. Lead us to live in your Spirit. Lord, have mercy.
- Lord Jesus, you show us the Father. Teach us your wisdom. Christ, have mercy.
- Lord Jesus, you are at work in the world. Make your people servants of justice and peace. Lord, have mercy.