THE “REST” OF THE STORY
“Your souls will find rest.” –Matthew 11:29
We disciples labor under the yoke of Jesus (Mt 11:30; Lk 9:23). Jesus therefore calls us to rest in Him (Mt 11:29), yet even that demands effort on our part. Each day we have to “strive to enter into that rest” (Heb 4:11). Mysteriously, disciples often rest better when they are most diligent.
There’s a balance to entering Jesus’ rest. We can’t strive too hard, for our efforts alone are futile (Is 26:17-18). We must let God’s rest be done unto us (Lk 1:38). We yield to His grace, but avoid laziness, since we must cooperate with God’s grace by accepting Jesus’ yoke and bearing His burden (Mt 11:30).
Jesus Himself had no place to rest His head (Lk 9:58). This probably refers to more than a bed. Jesus also had no place to Himself. His “place” was constant interruptions, a lack of privacy, a life on the move, etc. Like Jesus, we embrace our cross of fatigue and weariness. Amid our fatigue, we have a fountain of life and rest which never runs dry. That “rest” is not found by those who take shortcuts or evade the cross. It’s found by those who keep walking the path of Calvary, push through the cross, and discover that, in the place where He was crucified, there is a garden (Jn 19:41). In that garden, found only at the foot of the cross, is found the “rest” and the strength to endure.
St. Augustine said: “Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in Thee.” “Come to” Jesus (Mt 11:28). Enter into His rest.
PRAYER: Jesus, help me not to rest when I should be serving You (Mt 26:43-45) or to work when I should be resting in You (Ps 127:2; Ex 31:15). Only in You “is my soul at rest” (Ps 62:1).
PROMISE: “My yoke is easy and My burden light.” –Mt 11:30
PRAISE: Teresa, a Carmelite, prays the divine office each day on the bus as she commutes to work.