At that time Jesus answered and said: “I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him. Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.” Matthew 11:25-30
I spent about half an hour this morning meditating on this passage of Scripture, and I think that I got tangled up in what is said at the start. I committed it to the back of my mind, and went to work.
When I got home tonight after spending some time out doing errands, what my eyes fell upon was “And you shall find rest to your souls.”
I remember how complicated my mind used to be–riddled with lies, schemes, some visible to myself, some hidden even from my own conscious thoughts. I didn’t know who I was, and I tried very hard to simply be certain ideals of what I thought I should be. That’s a hard way to live, and I suspect that it’s the way many people live today.
Yesterday I was writing about how I had a hard time with my faith, a hard time knowing who Jesus was, was somewhat jealous of people who spoke about having a personal relationship. Yet, in meditating on this reading today, on falling on that portion of the reading, I realized that at some point, I discovered to my amazement that, for the most part, my mind was still. Not that the chatter hadn’t stopped, not that there weren’t and aren’t moments when I feel triggered into anxiety and have to try and work through it. But generally, as a rule, after I wake I feel at peace. I feel a sense of calm. I feel a portion of being at home, at rest, at comfortable ease with who I am as a person: someone who values honesty, integrity, trust, fidelity, beauty, serenity. I’m someone who wears the shoes of religious, of priest-to-be, of support worker, of writer, gardener, home maker. I am at a place where I am my most authentic self.
Perhaps in taking up the yoke, we begin to gather a sense of who Jesus is; maybe that’s the personal relationship. Knowing the fingerprint left behind in the clay of our souls.
This passage gives me great peace, and a sense of great calm.