FOURTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
In the Gospel today the Lord Jesus repeats to us the words that we know so well but that never fail to move us: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 11:28-30).
Jesus’ gaze seems to extend to this day, to our world. Today, too, it rests on so many people oppressed by difficult living conditions and lacking valid reference points to find a meaning and a purpose for their existence. Exhausted multitudes are found in the poorest countries, harshly tried by poverty; and even in the richer countries there are numerous dissatisfied men and women who are even ill with depression. Let us think of the many evacuees and refugees, of all those who emigrate, putting their own lives at risk. Christ’s gaze then rests upon all these people, indeed upon each one of these children of the Father who is in Heaven and repeats: “Come to me, all…” of you.
Jesus promised he would give everyone “rest”, but on one condition: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart”. What is this “yoke” which lightens instead of burdening, which instead of oppressing, uplifts? The “yoke” of Christ is the law of love, it is his commandment which he bequeathed to his disciples (cf. Jn 13:34; 15:12). The true remedy for humanity’s wounds, both material — such as hunger and injustice in all its forms —and psychological and moral, caused by a false well-being, is a rule of life based on fraternal love, whose source is in the love of God. For this reason, it is necessary to abandon the way of arrogance and of violence used to obtain ever more powerful positions, to assure oneself of success at any price.
It is also necessary to give up the aggressive attitude with regard to the environment which has prevailed in recent centuries and to adopt a reasonable “gentleness”. However, in human, interpersonal and social relations above all, the rule of respect and of non-violence, namely the power of the truth against every kind of abuse, is what can assure a future worthy of the human being.
Pope Benedict XVI, 3rd July 2011