Matthew 11:25-30 NRSVue
25At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28“Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
/Heart/ is a primal concept in the Bible, an archetype. It does not refer to the bodily organ but to the origin and kernel of everything else in the human person. In that sense it need not connote love or affection; indeed some people, when we know them profoundly, show a heart coloured by despair, anger, or hatred. As Jesus reveals himself through the Gospels, we discover that the basic attitude of his heart is one of unconditional love, not hatred or ambivalence. The first and last message of the Gospel is that God loves this world and every person in it. He sent his son Jesus not as a judge but as a shepherd, with a large and compassionate heart.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you.
A saying of Saint Catherine of Siena was ‘Where we see sins, God sees weakness'. She points to the reality that many people try to do their best but find their faults and failings often overcome them. God sees the heart and sees our efforts to do good, even though these efforts do not always succeed. God's Spirit, given with many gifts and energies for the world, also brings the gift of Divine forgiveness.
The last lines today have been a huge help and consolation to millions of people over the years. We all know the times of carrying heavy burdens of failure, pain, loss, shame, guilt, depression, hopelessness. We can all add to this list. All can be part of our prayer and relationship with God. Only in honestly admitting our big needs can we find the rest of soul which we need. A soul at rest can share with many the peace of God.
Remembering the dead is a good thing to do! It gives us a chance to recall the people dear to us who have gone to God, and to thank God for them and to pray with them and for them. The custom of the church today has been to pray for the dead; maybe we can include a prayer of thanks with each prayer for them.
I approach the Scripture not only with my mind, trying to figure out and understand. The word of God is spoken to my heart and comes to life when I respect the revelations and insights that God gives to me in simple ways.