Come to Me and Rest

Sunday Gospel Reflection
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 11:25-30 | June 9, 2023

Come to Me and Rest
by Josie Gonzales

“My Father has given me all things. “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest…For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.” – Matthew 11:27-28, 30

Stay with me, Lord…let go…surrender…pray, pray, pray.

These are the thoughts that wake me up, linger during the day, confront me when the day goes bad, when the ‘sailing is rough’, and when it is a dead end then I cry out, “Bahala ka na Lord!”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Such heavenly invitation and yet, we do not listen. We go the other way. We do this and that. What if the skies suddenly opened and Jesus appeared with outstretched arms? We would probably all fall down on our knees, bow our heads, praise and glorify Him with indescribable excitement and tears of joy as we exalt Him who is the Most High.

But do we need this kind of scenario before we listen to the Lord? He said, “blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.” Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on this.

The Gospel opens with Jesus thanking the Almighty Father for everything: “My Father has given me all things” In turn, Jesus, the ‘Great Healer’ ,the ‘Great Provider’, the Anointed One of the Father, talks to us. With His Words, he guides us, heals us and provides us with sustenance for our body, soul, and spirit. With His sacrifice, He redeems us so we may live with God forever. Isn’t this the perfect menu for a spiritually healthy life? Not the lavish party table we prepare to celebrate birthdays, feast days, holidays…all this perish at the stroke of God’s hand.

Ang paanyaya ni Hesukristo para sa buhay na walang hanggan ay nasa kamay natin. Ang paanyaya ni Hesus ay lumapit sa Kanya, pasanin ang kanyang ‘yoke’ o pamatok at matuto sa Kanya. Ito ang paanyaya ni Kristo sa mga pagod, salat sa buhay, malungkot, may karamdaman, namatayan ng mahal sa buhay, walang pamilya at kaibigan, walang trabaho, walang makain sa araw-araw at masilungan.

Ang sabi ni Hesus magaan naman daw ang Kanyang pamatok. Bakit hindi natin pasanin?

Kahit salat tayo sa buhay, ang biyaya ng Diyos ay hindi natin makakamtan kung tumunganga lamang tayo; kailangan natin kumilos at maraming paraan para makasunod sa utos ng Diyos: dalawin ang may sakit at bantayan ang kanyang anak o tumulong sa kanyang bahay, tulungan ang streetsweeper at pulutin ang mga nakakalat na maliliit na basura sa daan at ilagay sa tamang basurahan, tulungan ang basurero at mag-garbage segregation, tulungan ang matanda at may kapansanan at alalayan sila sa pagtawid sa kalye at pagbitbit ng mga gamit.

Hindi ba merong kasabihan, ‘kung gusto, may paraan, kung ayaw, maraming dahilan’? Salat man sa buhay o maginhawa ang buhay, saan tayo? Pagnilayan natin ito.

My daily prayers consist of prayers to the Holy Spirit and for His seven gifts, prayers to Jesus, to the Almighty Father, the Holy Family, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady Regina Rosarii (Our Lady on Top of the Hill), prayers for the souls in purgatory, for inner peace and acceptance. But a favorite prayer of mine is from Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia in Tanay, Rizal. It is a prayer to God for healing and is today’s Gospel. The prayer goes this way: “Dear God, You said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are tired and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.’” Then, I tell the Lord, ‘I come to you today…right now…please touch every pore, every fiber, every cell of my body.’”

It is such a wonderful feeling to pray and reach out to the Lord this way. I talk, He listens. He talks, I listen. A personal relationship with Him who loves no bounds. It is conversing with the Lord with words and emotions and tears…exactly the way my devotional book, ‘Good morning, Lord…can we talk?’ would describe and convey. After this moment with God, the rest of the day just flows with gratitude and thanksgiving, never mind the bumps and the potholes along the way. They are there for a reason. It takes a lot of courage to stay the course but we have to be mindful that Jesus walks with us all the way.

Do I have these bumps and potholes in my life? Yes, a lot of them! Do I fall? Yes, many times! It is never easy to follow Christ…but I choose to follow Him anyway.

The Lord says, “Come to me and rest. ”

A very blessed Sunday to all!

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