Faith Daily |15 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p561
O Lord, we beseech you
mercifully to receive the prayers of your people
who call upon you,
and grant that they may both perceive and know
what things they ought to do,
and also may have grace and power
faithfully to fulfill them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 11: 28-30
28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rachel McFadyen
These days, we don’t see horses or people pulling or carrying loads using yokes across their backs, though you can still see them in historical villages. But they were commonplace in Jesus’ time and they are everywhere in South-East Asia– bullocks pulling heavy carts or ploughs, people walking narrow field tracks with loads of produce on wooden yokes across their shoulders. The yokes are made from wood, and a well-made yoke is smooth and padded so that it doesn’t cause chaffing and sores. Even so, at the end of the day, the person or animal will be weary, with sore shoulders and back, and it is a struggle to carry on day after day.
Today as in Jesus’ time, society is full of people carrying heavy burdens, whether of anxiety or pain, grief or shame, day after day, without respite. In a big hospital like the PA, the burdens are plain to see – especially now when visits from loved ones may be forbidden, and people suffer alone. Nursing care is no substitute for a hug from family, and people, especially men, are ashamed of letting their tears be seen by a stranger. In the home, burdens may be carried in silence and loneliness, and seen by no-one, but are just as heavy.
Jesus offers the comfort of putting all our anxieties and fears onto him; he gives us the “hug” we need, and the freedom of letting go and crying in his presence. He is “lowly in heart”; he doesn’t judge us against some artificial standard of a “stiff upper lip” or “boys don’t cry”. In Gethsemane before his death, Jesus wept in dread of what was to come, and he understands our fears and weaknesses.
May we take Jesus’ words out into our world, and offer the comfort of his love to all in need. Amen
FINAL PRAYER: 2011, Linda C. Moore (abridged)
I come into these walls,
Unknowing of what the day will hold,
Uncertain of where God
Will guide my path.
I know that I am called to be here for You,
For those in despair,
For those in celebration,
And for those in grief.
I am humbled by these moments,
When I enter a room,
I am a presence, a healing touch,
A comforting word, or a moment of grace.
I am humbled and ask You now;
Hold me, guide me, and carry me
As I enter this day with You.