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July 9, 2023: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do you ever feel restless? I certainly do. Daily tasks and challenges, but also the more basic demand of simply existing — sooner or later, this can all feel crushing and tire us out.

Which is why Jesus’ words are such stunningly good news: “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). How vastly weird that this man speaks as though he is capable of giving us the deep repose we desire. Is his claim the height of absurd grandiosity? No, because next he immediately proclaims that he is “meek and humble of heart.” We here touch a mystery: Jesus is capable of giving us rest because he is the one who forever reposes in the heart of God the Father. He is “yoked” to the Father in his divinity. But he is humbly “yoked” to us, sharing in our humanity.

The good news, my fellow tired-out friends: we don’t have to despair in our burdens and exhaustion, no matter how heavy they feel. This week, join me in opening our hearts to hear him say to us, “Come! I will give you rest.” We come to him in the Church, Eucharist, the Scriptures, prayer, in the poor. There he will give us rest.

— Father John Muir



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