“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be and becoming that person.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux [of the Child Jesus], Doctor of the Church)
Gospel Text: (MT 11:25-30)
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
“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.”
Children have a tendency to keep things simple. They trust their parents. They believe everything their parents tell them. By contrast, we adults ask far too many questions. We like to think things through, weighing the pros and cons and examining every angle. While that’s usually a good thing, too much examination can make it hard for us to be trusting. This is especially true when it comes to faith. That’s why Jesus encourages us to be “childlike” (Matthew 11:25).
Following Jesus is an adventure. It’s about delving into the heart and mind of God. It’s about, as St. Ignatius of Loyola used to say, using our imagination to picture ourselves in biblical times, watching Jesus multiply the loaves and fishes or journeying to the Promised Land with the children of Abraham. It’s about being like an inquisitive child during story time: “Why did the food multiply? How can Jesus be everywhere at the same time? What does an angel look like?”
When we learn how to be happy through simplicity, many complications are dispelled, many needs disappear, and we can rest, at long last. Jesus invites us to follow Him; and He is not deceiving us: to be with him is to take His yoke upon us, to assume the demands of His love. We shall not be spared a certain amount of suffering in this world, but His “load” will be light, and our suffering will not be a consequence of our own selfishness ,which is MUCH heavier.
Because of love and with the Spirit's help, we shall suffer only what we should and no more.