Laying Down Your Burdens

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Readings for Thursday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

20 July: Saint Apollinaris, Bishop and Martyr – Optional Memorial

Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

This invitation from Jesus is one that we may need to hear far more often than we realize.  It’s a gentle invitation to let our Lord lighten our daily burden, relieve our worries, our stress, our concerns and all that weighs us down.  It’s an invitation of love and mercy and is one we should always accept.

What is it that burdens you?  What is it that weighs you down and tempts you to fall into depression, sorrow or even despair?  Is there something that you tend to think about obsessively?  Is there some concern that you can’t seem to shake?  Whatever it is that troubles your heart, Jesus wants to lift it.

Sometimes we can go through life with heavy burdens that we are afraid to let go of.  We can be fearful of coming to Jesus and fearful of letting Him in.  Coming to Jesus means we must face whatever it is that burdens us with honesty and openness and we must face these burdens in the presence of Jesus.

But the key thing we need to know is that Jesus is gentle, merciful and generous in forgiveness and grace.  He longs to lift our burdens far more than we long to have them lifted.  He sees the oppression many face and so deeply desires to have that oppression eliminated.

Reflect, today, upon that gentle invitation from Jesus: “Come to me.”  Come to Him without fear and without hesitation.  Turn everything over to Him and let Him sort things out.  He loves you more than you know and will set your feet on the right path.

Lord, I do come to You and I do lay down my life and every burden before You.  I give You my life, my hopes, my fears, my past, my future and everything that worries me.  Jesus, I give You everything.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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