Turning Over Our Burden

 Thursday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time

Is 26: 7-9, 12, 16-19; Mt 11: 28-30

Dc. Larry Brockman

Can it be that simple?  That the secret for all of us who labor and are burdened, is to learn from Jesus and live our lives patterned after Him.   

Perhaps life seems so complicated to us because we make it complicated- the world makes it complicated.  After all, our labor and burdens are seemingly so manifold- we have responsibilities- children to take care of; jobs to do; school to attend; property to maintain; and financial duties.  And we have burdens- sicknesses, limitations, and other peoples problems somehow laid at our feet.  We even have things to do and see that we hope to spice up our lives- places to go to and see; sporting and cultural events to attend.  The list of things we feel compelled to do in our lives- all of our labor and burdens- seems so endless and overwhelming at times. 

And yet, in the midst of all our worldly responsibilities and wants, in the midst of the clutter that is life in our world, only one thing stands out as really, really, really important-  our relationship with God, because that is what we take to the Kingdom of God.     

If we could look at life in another way, that is, that the most important thing is our relationship with God, then today’s Gospel makes so much more sense, because, turning over our burdens and labors to God by adopting Jesus approach to life, simply means that we put our relationship with God first.  We trust Him in all things that happen as we let His will guide us in our path through the manifold activities and burdens of life.  It isn’t that we have to offload our lives of our responsibilities and work; or even that we abandon our wants and pleasures; but rather, it is that we realize that in all things we do, we recognize and accept His will for us and not fight it; and we let go of the emotional and stressful baggage that these burdens and labors cause because we trust in the justice and providence of God, just as Jesus did.   

He has promised salvation to those of us who believe and trust in Him, and that salvation includes justice for all- God’s justice, the kind of justice that Isaiah speaks about in today’s first reading.  And indeed, we will sometimes feel like Isaiah describes- like a woman about to give birth who is writhing in pain.  But then again, as Isaiah says- “But your dead shall live, awake and sing, you who lie in the dust”. Why?  Because the way of the just is smooth. 

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