Jesus said to the crowds:
“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.”
~ Matthew 11:28-30
These lines have been among the first Gospel verses that I committed to memory at a very early age. I was in first year high school and these lines were among my favorite quotes. I found the words so encouraging, so reassuring. For someone as young as I was then, I found myself saying these words often when I was alone, when I was down, when i was trying to pray the best I could.
Life was not less burdensome, in spite of my prayers. There were moments I felt like giving up – in school, at work, with a relationship, in trying to lead a good and upright life. I would cry. I would shout and rage. I would sometimes even hurt myself. But these words would come back and calm me down. The rest would eventually come. The yoke did not become easy; but I would find myself a little stronger every time to be able to take on a more challenging yoke. The burden had not become lighter; in fact, it would seem to be get heavier with the passing of the year. But I have found myself better prepared and more determined because of everything that went before.
So, are the words of Jesus which I found consoling and comforting in my youth still so today. Yes, and even more so. My relationship with God had also gone deeper and grown stronger.