From time to time as the problems and worries of the moment overpower us, we all find life difficult and discouraging. As the signs of stress and tension become visible on our faces, we all sit up and listen to those reassuring and comforting words of Jesus: ‘Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest.’ Jesus presents himself as the friend and consoler of the weary and oppressed. In the middle of trying situations he seems to invite us to come to him with our worries saying all will be well. This giving of our hearts to Christ implies complete trust and childlike dependence, qualities which are missing in our adult world. When we were young we spent our childhood days in a simple carefree setting, relying completely on the love of those who cared for us. Growing up meant casting aside this childhood trust and exchanging it for reliance on material possessions. We have lost our paradise of childhood innocence and as a result find it difficult to cast our cares upon the Lord with the confidence that he will sustain us.
Christ leaves us in no doubt that humility is vital in our search for God. It is not a prized quality in our society where success is measured on arrogance, ambition and ruthlessness and where the house we live in, the car we drive and the company we keep are indicators of esteem. The humble person does not have to complicate matters by projecting such a false self-image or deceiving themselves with the trappings of grandeur. Because we are lacking in humility, we are robbed of that inner peace which comes from putting our hand in the hand of God. Humility enables us to let go of self and make space for God in whom we find our strength. When we come to mass on a Sunday morning laden with the problems and troubles of the past week, Christ meets us at our own level. As we unload our difficulties and sufferings before him, he makes them into an acceptable offering to his heavenly Father.
This gospel speaks to us of the tender, personal and human qualities of Christ’s love for us. God is full of mercy and compassion and a great comfort in times of sorrow and distress. There is a great capacity for goodness in each one of us, provided we accept the invitation to build up our lives with Christ as our model.
Fr Peter Tipene