I think we all know the story of Simon of Cyrene. We usually say that Simon helped Jesus. However if we reflect on it deeper we find that it was Jesus helping Simon to shoulder the yoke of his daily struggles. Simon appears only for one of the fourteen Stations of the Cross but Jesus takes a share in shouldering our yoke every day. Another word for his yoke is the Cross. We have heard that we need to take up our cross and follow Jesus. It has nothing to do with looking for pain and suffering but it is about putting God’s glory and the needs of others before our own plans and desires. Tell me: “Is it easy to put glory of God and the needs of others before your own needs?” It is not. It easier to focus on your own needs. Jesus always put the glory of God and the needs of the others before his own needs and he invites us today to approach him and to learn this attitude from him by being united to him by living for God’s glory and salvation of people.
If you feel that your strength is leaving you go to Jesus and he will give you rest. Why do we rest? So that we can resume the work or duties that exhausted us. Note that Jesus doesn’t promise to take the struggles away. Rather he promises to reinvigorate. How can you get rest Jesus promises? Let me tell you the story of a priest who was appointed a bishop. First he was excited. It looked like a great promotion but as he started researching about his new diocese he found out how many problems he would need to face. The diocese was shaken by sexual abuses of the clergy. The bishop to be started worrying: “Why should I fix up that mess?” he thought. However he decided not to refuse the appointment. When the day was approaching for the public announcement of his appointment, he went to the city. The old bishop warmly welcomed him, they spoke at some length and the old man asked him to stay in his residence. The new bishop went to bed early to be ready for the media conference in the morning but he was so worried about the questions he was expecting to face from the floor that he couldn’t fall asleep. Around 3am he said to himself: ‘That’s it. I am going to the chapel to calm down.” When he got there he found that the old bishop was there already praying before the Blessed Sacrament. It was exactly what he had been doing for years. Before starting his daily duties he would spend prolonged time with Jesus. From Jesus the old bishop was getting strength to deal with so many problems. Before Jesus the old bishop was finding strength not to give up but to continue serving God and the people of God.
When Jesus says: “Come to me..” it means he is here, in the tabernacle, waiting to welcome you. Keep coming to him when you labour and are overburdened and he will give you the rest you need to resume your work for God’s glory and the good of others.