Come to me…and I will give you rest.  “Put your hand in the hand of the man from Nazareth” was a line from a popular song some of us may remember. As children, we felt completely safe and trusting when our mother or father held our hand. We walked with them unquestioningly wherever they took us, in daylight or in the dark. The level of trust between child and parent is out of this world. It’s an analogy of what our faith in God is about, the life to which God invites us.  “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son so that all who believe/trust in him would have eternal life…” – John 3:15. “I came that they might have life….”  John 10:10. What is it about us that makes us hesitant to believe and trust our heavenly Father?

There is something in a child that makes it completely trust its parent. There is also something inside us Christians that draws us to want to trust God our Father, despite a nagging unsureness. A child’s trust is based on love, for it knows instinctively that it is loved unconditionally by its parent. We are more complicated with God, more suspicious that perhaps we are not as well accepted by God as the child is by its parent. Somebody counted and found that the injunction “Do not be afraid” occurs in sacred scripture more than 600 times.  God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, presumably in the hope that the Son would not succumb to fear but replace it with trust to the end.

No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  Jesus came to show us that trusting in his Father’s loving will was worth everything he suffered, even death on the cross. He trusted God every inch of the way despite the momentary if terrible doubts he suffered in the garden during the night before his death. I see his death on Good Friday in the context of his heroic trust in God’s love for him. “Not my will, but yours be done” – Luke 22: 42. God wanted not so much the death of Jesus as such but his faith and trust, even if it meant death. His faith and trust to the very end would reveal God his Father to the world. God responded by raising up Jesus from death, thereby revealing simultaneously his mercy and his glory. This is the trustworthy Father the Son came on earth to reveal, the good news of the Gospel that he preached and lived.

Shoulder my yoke and learn from me…..for my yoke is easy and my burden light.  Most people carry heavy loads through life. Prayer, especially contemplative forms of prayer can help us face what can feel like an impossible situation. People need to ask for healing from whatever holds them back from facing the impossible. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt ch. 5) Jesus called healed disciples to live a life of forgiveness, honesty, love of enemies, and of responding to violence with creative non-violence etc. This helps us to see what Jesus means by his burden and his yoke.

Fr QQ – 07/06/2023




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