Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Will Give You Rest

July 16, 2009

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

"Thus they will heed your message. Then you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him: The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent us word. Permit us, then, to go a three days' journey in the desert, that we may offer sacrifice to the LORD, our God. "Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless he is forced. I will stretch out my hand, therefore, and smite Egypt by doing all kinds of wondrous deeds there. After that he will send you away. Exodus 3:18-20

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30


The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name. Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage. You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. Psalm 23:2-6


God. The Deity that Refreshes. Whether you are the Hebrews enslaved in Egypt, a laborer enslaved by your master, or just an average person burdened by the law of the land, God wants us to gravitate toward him so that he can refresh our soul, our body and our mind.

When I read this passage, it reminds me of all the invitations that God sends to us. Like Psalm 23, we are promised only good things like green pastures, safe waters, restoration, only goodness and mercy. Like John 13-16, the last lecture in which we are invited to share in the mission of the Church. Follow me.

In addition, the theme of my Cursillo (Arlington, VA Men’s 104th, Missionhurst, Rector Dave Maurer), came from this passage in Matthew. My yoke is easy my burden light. Even though the Lord tells us that we have to take up our cross and follow him, he will always have a place for us to rest our feet and heads and hands in his house where we will dwell.

The pastoral peaceful God always shines through the darkest clouds. When you are burdened by a bad day at the office, a traffic jam on the Beltway, a mailbox full of unpaid bills, or demands from your family and friends, God invites us to share each moment. When and if we surrender to God and rest in the present moment, we will be able to enjoy the peace that surpasses all other.

Moses had to surrender to God even though he wanted someone else to be called to free the Hebrews from the wrath of the pharaoh. But Moses took up the task – the yoke – that God reserved for him, and eventually, Moses led his people out of Egypt and back into the Promised Land.


What “promised land” does the Lord have waiting for you? What path is he inviting you to travel in order to arrive at that destination? God will deliver us from whatever our burdens appear to be.