There are four accounts of the Gospel in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each one is unique and offers us fulfillment and assurance.
One specific passage, which is one of my favorites, is from Matthew 11; verses 28-30:
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 yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
These words from the Son of God are simple, direct and meek; and yet these words are an invitation from the heart of Jesus Christ.
Come to me are the words of the Master, the Son of God. He calls everyone to come to him.
In ancient Palestine, 2000+ years ago, Jesus spoke these very words to crowds following him. Many were helpless. They were weighed down by daily burdens. They were living under Roman Occupation, which wasn’t a just situation for everyone. The people witnessed persecution and even criminals crucified.
Jesus, the Lord, does not focus on the negative or the burdens. He first invites and then refreshes. He assures them—and us today—through his Word, about taking the weight off of us.
Jesus is telling us, “Dare to trust me!”
How many of us remember as children, running to our parents or a grandparent after falling down or after being hurt; yearning for the warm acceptance and gentle caress of someone who sincerely cares for us? Didn’t our tears go away shortly after?
Accepting the Invitation
We, too, can run to Jesus, the Lord. God created man as a rational being, conferring on each one of us the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his or her own actions.
Yes, part of who we are as a rational being, with dignity of a person who can control our own actions, is the Will. The will is free, having the ability to choose. Archbishop Fulton Sheen expressed this concept well:
There is one thing in the world that is definitely and absolutely your own, and that is your will. Health, power, life, and honor can all be snatched from you, but your will is irrevocably your own.
Let’s listen to what the Church asserts about our will:
God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel, so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2730)
Perfection here means fulfillment, completion.
This is the plan of God for us today! In using my will, I have a choice to live the faith daily, to read the Gospel and be given the assurance needed to bring true peace into my soul.
Jesus is offering us something that the world cannot offer: an invitation to come to him and discover a plan that will lead us to rest and walk with him no matter who we are, where we are in our walk or position, or what we have right now.
His promise is his plan for us, and he includes complete rest. This can result in a true joy, happiness, and perhaps with time, a complete surrender to him! No matter how smart we are, how much money or how many things we have, we will never have true peace and rest without God.
Faith is involvement, passion, mind, and heart beating together in an attempt to answer the question of Christ, which engages one’s life. – Fr. Bruno Forte
Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.