COME, FIND REST

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch whose flame
Is imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips.

“Give me your tired your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside

The aforementioned sonnet entitled “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus is familiar to many of us. The poem is mounted inside the pedestal of the statue of liberty in New York. It speaks of humans’ yearning for freedom and the need to unburden us toward that end. We all need “somewhere” and “someone” we can go to make our burden light.

Today’s gospel points out that “somewhere” and “someone”. Both are converged into one – Jesus Christ. “Come to me”, he says. “All you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” He invites us to bring our tired persons, emaciated bodies, broken spirit, and discouraged selves to him and rejuvenate them with a fresh breath of freedom – freedom from force, guilt, past sins, embarrassing secrets, lethargy, drudgery and stress. We don’t realize how heavy our burden is until we put it down.

Jesus offers another way too for unburdening ourselves. Allow him to carry our burden with us. Be yoked with him, walk parallel and you find the going a lot easier. Won’t you give him a chance?

Shalom,
Fr. Abe.