“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We hear those words and desperately want to believe them, but, at many times in our lives, it sure doesn’t seem like the burden is light. On the contrary, it seems that most often trouble is piled upon trouble. Almost all of us can easily search our personal life history or that of the circle of family or friends around us and identify a host of ills, worries or threats that assail us. We pray for relief but heaven seems silent. We cried out with Jesus on the cross that God has abandoned us. I am reminded what a spiritual director once told me, that sometimes when we ask God for something, he says ‘no.’ The reasons for God’s refusal are most often known to God alone. The only response is a response of faith and belief that we will find rest for our souls and maybe even our bodies.
Belonging to Jesus was never a guarantee that we would avoid suffering in this life — in fact, quite the opposite. St. Paul reminds us that when we were baptised, we were baptised into the death of Jesus in order that we may rise with him. The path to resurrection is a journey that leads us through the cross in whatever form that may take in our lives.
At the end of the day, we need to pray for a deeper faith to guide us through the dark and troubled times of our lives, holding onto the belief that our God has redeemed us and holds us in the palm of his hand. Then, we too, together with Jesus, will rise triumphant from the tombs that threaten to enslave us.