“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Earlier this week, I had a tense afternoon dealing with paper work, red tape, necessary documents which were not easy to obtain. I ran into crankiness and lack of cooperation; it all felt very clumsy and burdensome. After I had done all that I could do, even though I felt tired and out of sorts, I decided to go for a walk. As I got to ridge, I discovered the snowy caps of the mountains in the distance. The sky was gloriously blue, the fields of hay and golden wheat glistened in the sun, some birds chirped away in a conversation unintelligible to me. Every so often, I stopped to take a deep breath or let go a long sigh and took in the beauty of the moment. At one point, as I felt the knot in my upper back, I heard in my mind: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The week went on. My mind seemed to be a magnet to administrative worries which continue to march through my nightly dreams. Non-stop, I rehashed again and again the same old arguments, the familiar fears. Yesterday, after the evening mass, as I stood outside looking at the sky, I noticed right above the tall trees, in an otherwise clear blue sky, a small puffy charming white cloud. I heard then in my mind the words, “Your problem is as big as this.” The thought made me smile, for it was true: my worries in the whole cosmic spectrum of things are very small. Godde in her own strange way had handed me a talisman which I could recognize and use.
As we drove home, the expression ‘soul-weary’ came to me. I realized then that our time in the small village church had been a moment of grace. Not so much because I had understood, or heard even, the sermon, but because I finally felt home. It has not been easy to find a parish which feeds my soul. For years, I have been wandering from one watering hole to another. As I look at the masculinity of my denomination, I feel appalled and hopeless. Something to bear. Yesterday, however, despite the lack of gender-sensitivity of the natural environment, I saw two little girls being altar servers. I felt surrounded by other pilgrim souls, resting together at the table for a while and receiving gratefully some sustenance to continue the journey.
Finally, last night, as I read the gospel again, I understood that it came as an answer to a prayer: What better excerpt can help me understand Jesus, love him, and want to follow him? It will feed me for a while until hopefully I grow a bit more like the One who calls us.
Illustration found here.