“Come to Me, All Who Are Weary”

Today’s Gospel reading contains this quote from Jesus from Matthew chapter 11:28-30:

“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.”

If you haven’t seen them yet, you might be surprised by this year’s Summit promotional materials.  They have a new look!  The Summit, too, will be different this year.  This ad, and the other four we have created attempt to capture what I often see as I look around, in my parish, in my workplace, in my children’s schools, in my friendships.  I do not see, in large part, people who walk as if their burdens are light.  Too often, I witness over scheduled, overburdened, tired people who feel as if they are being pulled in too many directions.  Their response to the question, “How are you?” is almost always, “BUSY.”

“Coming to Jesus is the condition for finding relief.  All we need to do is choose to enter the sphere of his presence, and the unnatural pressures borne down upon us by both the world and ourselves begin to dissipate.” (from Fire of Mercy, heart of the Word:  Meditations on the Gospel According to St. Matthew).

This year’s Summit has been designed to offer an opportunity for you and those you love to “come to Jesus”.  It, like our promotional materials, has been completely re-designed.  It will not focus on information; it is not a conference.  Instead it is an opportunity to come and spend the day being inspired and renewed by the saving message and presence of Jesus.  The day will feature inspiring talks, adoration, confession, Sunday Vigil Mass, good food, music and fellowship.  I would invite you all to register and come.  Be inspired. Be renewed.  For more details, visit:  www.The2018Summit.com

But we don’t have to wait until September 22nd to find relief for life’s burdens.  I believe Jesus desires to give us his yoke daily; to give us His rest daily.  How do we find it today and take it upon our shoulders?  Living a Catholic Way of Life means being “stewards of everything the Lord has created and given to us, receiving it joyfully with gratitude and then sacrificially sharing with others from what we have received” (Characteristics of a Stewardship Parish, Introduction). This includes our time.  All 1,440 minutes of every day have been given to us by God as a gift.  Do we receive them as such?   Two practical habits help me to receive time as a gift:

  • The very ancient practice of the Morning Offering.  When I wake up, I begin my day by thanking God for the gift of the day and then I offer it to him, “all my works, joys and sufferings of the day”
  • I spend ½ hour at the beginning of my day in silence and with the Word of God (usually the daily Gospel).  I ask the Lord what he would have me do with the Time he has given me this day.  I lay the heavy yoke of my own expectations and the world’s demands at the foot of the cross and I strive to receive from Him, His Yoke, His plan for the day.  When I do this well, my burden is light, the yoke is easy.  God is faithful, He keeps his promises.

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

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