Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jesus' Three Calls

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
July 6, 2014

Matthew 11:25-30

The Gospel of Matthew includes three calls by Jesus that we, his followers, must listen to attentively since they can change the atmosphere of discouragement, tiredness, and boredom that sometimes permeates some sectors of our communities. "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. I will give you rest." That's the first call. It's addressed to all those who experience their religion as a burden. There are quite a few Christians who are burdened by their conscience. They aren't great sinners. They simply have been educated to bear in mind their sin and don't know the joy of God's continual forgiveness. If they meet Jesus, they will feel relieved.

There are also Christians who are tired of experiencing their religion as a worn out tradition. If they meet Jesus, they will learn to live at ease with God. They will discover an inner joy that they don't have today. They will follow Jesus not out of obligation, but because of attraction.

"Take my yoke upon you because it is easy and my burden light." That's the second call. Jesus doesn't overburden anyone. On the contrary, he frees what is best in us since he proposes that we make life more humane, dignified, and healthy. It isn't easy to find a find a more exciting way of life.

Jesus frees us from fear and pressure; he doesn't bring them in. He makes our freedom grow, not our servitude. He awakens trust in us, never sadness. He draws us towards love, not towards laws and precepts. He invites us to do good.

"Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest." That's the third call. We are to learn from Jesus how to live like him. Jesus doesn't complicate our life. He makes it clearer and simpler, more humble and healthy. He offers rest. He invites us to follow along the same path he traveled. Therefore, he can understand our difficulties and our efforts. He can forgive our stumbling and mistakes, always encouraging us to get up.

We must focus our efforts on promoting a more vital contact with Jesus in the many men and women in need of encouragement, rest and peace. It saddens me to see that it is precisely their way of understanding and experiencing religion that leads quite a few, almost inevitably, to not have the experience of trusting Jesus. I am thinking of so many people in and out of the Church who are "lost", not knowing where to turn. I know that Jesus could be great news for them.

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