Come To Me

Scripture Reading

Jesus said to the crowds:
“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.”
(Matthew 11:28-30)

Scripture Study

18:12–14 Jesus in his second illustration, shows how care for fellow Christians should be extended even to those who have gone astray. In this story about the lost sheep, Jesus draws on a common Old Testament metaphor depicting Israel as a flock of sheep and God as a shepherd (Pss 23; 95:7; Jer 23:1–4; Ezek 34). In particular, this story reflects the prophecy of Ezek 34, which foretold that God himself would become Israel’s shepherd, seeking the sheep who have gone astray. For a shepherd, a single sheep is a valuable financial asset—so precious that the shepherd in Christ’s story temporarily leaves the ninety-nine safe sheep to seek the one that is lost. Similarly, so valuable is one of these little ones, that is, one disciple, that the heavenly Father will go to great lengths to rescue him. Christ’s followers should imitate the Father’s pastoral care, seeking and saving the disciples who have gone astray.[1]

Scripture Reflection

Père LaGrange, the great Scripture scholar, referred to our Gospel passage today as “Matthew’s most precious pearl.” Jesus is not offering us one more philosophy of God. He is offering us the view from inside the Trinity, for no one really and fully knows the Father except the Son. And that is why we should respond to this compelling invitation: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” What everyone wants is rest, but not in the sense of relaxation or unwinding. Rest here means fulfillment, achievement of joy.

The great illusion is that joy will come from filling up the ego with goods. In fact, it will come from emptying out, from turning one’s life over to the direction of God. Jesus is actually bearing the yoke himself, since he is yoked to the Father, doing only what he sees the Father doing.

What he is saying in the Gospel, therefore, is to stand next to him, just as one ox stands next to the other as they pull together. Just as Jesus is yoked to the Father, so we should be yoked to him, obeying him as he obeys the Father. In doing this, Jesus says, we will find “rest.”

– Bishop Robert Barron

 

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV. 

 

 

 

[1] Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, The Gospel of Matthew, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010), 230.