“Come to Me” (Mt 11:28)

by Susanna Mak
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Zechariah 9:9-10

Romans 8:9, 11-13

Matthew 11:25-30

I think it is fair to say, what a strange year 2020 has been! When an unknown “novel” virus hit North America at the beginning of this year, who would have thought our lives would be altered for good. While the lifestyle in which we take comfort has taken a sudden turn and our certainties have turned into quicksand, we are forced to adapt a new way of thinking and living. It is exactly in these times of uncertainties that we are brought back to the only certainty of hope and love through the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ.

At the height of the Pandemic lockdown, we weren’t even able to see our own family; parents, grandparents, siblings, in-laws, and so on. The physical distancing, though absolutely necessary, has put tremendous stress on individuals and families: financial, social, emotional, psychological and certainly, spiritual. Some feel disconnected; cut off from the rest of the world and are plagued by feelings of intense loneliness and helplessness (think of our seniors in long-term care homes and hospices).

This week’s readings cannot come at a better time! St. Paul reminds us in the letter to the Romans that in truth, God’s Spirit dwells in us and because we have the Spirit of Christ, we all belong to Christ. Jesus, our constant companion on our journey, walks with us every solitary step of the way! The same “Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in [us]”; gives us the certainty and hope that “he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to [our] mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in [us]” (Rm 8:11).

When we feel we’re crumbling under the weight of our worries, insecurities, and doubts, Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). Such is a gentle but affirmative call; beckoning us to return to Christ, the source of life. Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you”; interestingly, He never says that He’ll take away our yoke completely (Mt 11:29). He reassures us that His “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light” (Mt 11:30). Whether we notice it or not, Christ walks with us through every hill and valley, sharing our yoke and burden. Yes, we all have our “yoke”, but our human spirit can always find strength in the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ! Jesus reminds us: “I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29). With gentleness and humility, we trek on with the hope and certainty that only the Holy Spirit can give.

Only Jesus can unbind us - from our worries, fear, doubts, uncertainties - thus, we shall rejoice like the sons and daughters of Zion. Let us shout joyfully because “your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey” (Zech 9:9).