Mt 11:28-30 For Those Who Labor
“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.”
Soon after having consumed the forbidden fruit, our ancestors fled. They fled like a child who is caught red handed. I am not sure which the greater sin was: the fruit or the flight? I personally think it was the flight. After all, our Lord, speaking on behalf of the Father, reminds us that when life’s burdens and complications get overwhelming, then there is only one thing we should do: “Come to me.” In other words, “Don’t take your life; change your life!”
I was surprised to learn (in seminary) that the fundamental reason why God appeared to Moses and directed him to tell Pharaoh to let “his people go” was not because he wanted them to leave Egypt and their horrible living conditions. Rather, it was for a completely different reason. “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.” (Ex 3:19)
A three day get away was ordered by God so that His people could have a six day retreat.
We labor five days a week, some even six days, and then…? There is no rest. Life is too burdensome to rest. Is life too complicated to spare time for God? All of us need time to get away. The biggest mistake I made last year was not taking the Bishop’s offer and accepting a month of rest! I learned a good lesson. You should too! And those who do not allow it will learn a bigger lesson, like Pharaoh!
The workplace can be annoying. People, good people, can get on your nerves. For those who work for the Church, there work can never be considered “a job”, it is a ministry. Every single soul that comes into the office is a soul expecting the warmth of Christ, the love of Christ and the generosity of Christ. We are not part of the service sector. We are not a non-profit entity. We are the people of God. It must be an oasis for the poor, beaten down and heartbroken.
Christians who work in the secular world should always demand their rights to express their beliefs. There is a tremendous push today to limit religious freedom. In fact, the push is to suffocate religious identity and expression and to contain it within the confines of a religious building. This was never the intent of our Constitution. This is an assault on what makes America great. There can be no freedom of thought if there is no freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is not the same as freedom from religion. The mission of every Christian in the work place is to be an oasis of faith, hope and love for all who come to you, a gift to the world, another Christ!
And believe me, they will come to you, and like a Moses, as a leader of God’s people, you should bring them to Christ.
Put on Christ, as St. Paul tells us. But most importantly, live your faith. A lot of people could change their religion and lives because of Him working through you.