Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Isaiah 26:7-9.12.16-19; Matthew 11:28-30)
Franciscan Friar of Renewal Benedict Groeschel describes how Mother Teresa once asked him if he wanted to be more productive. Of course, he did. Then Mother Teresa told him that he should make a holy hour every day. When Fr. Benedict objected that he was too busy for that, Mother Teresa only chided him that he really did not want to do more. Fr. Benedict finally surrendered to the idea, and the outcome has been abundance in preaching, writing, and harvesting vocations. In today’s gospel Jesus offers the overworked the same option.
In the text Jesus effectively equates himself with Law. He says that where many find the 613 precepts of the Law unbearable, they will find his way a life quite refreshing. The reason for the difference is not that Jesus’ discipline is any less demanding but that it is accompanied by an inner attitude of joy. He is a joy to be around because he knows when to rest and when to work, when to laugh and when to cry.
Too often we put unnecessary burdens on ourselves. We believe that we have to become rich or important, for example. A truly happy life comes from following Jesus. It is not always an easy life, but it not only provides worthy companions to share our load but promises eternity.