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28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Cited in the Catechism: In promulgating the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Blessed John Paul II explained that the Catechism “is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.” He went on to “declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion” (Fidei Depositum). Passages from this Gospel reading are cited in the Catechism paragraphs 459, 1615 and 1658.
18:11–14. 11:28–30. Our Lord calls everyone to come to him. We all find things difficult in one way or another. The history of souls bears out the truth of these words of Jesus. Only the Gospel can fully satisfy the thirst for truth and justice that sincere people feel. Only our Lord, our Master—and those to whom he passes on his power—can sooth the sinner by telling him, “Your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2). In this connexion Pope Paul VI teaches: “Jesus says now and always, ‘come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ His attitude towards us is one of invitation, knowledge and compassion; indeed, it is one of offering, promise, friendship, goodness, remedy of our ailments; he is our comforter; indeed, our nourishment, our bread, giving us energy and life” (Homily on Corpus Christi, 13 June 1974).
“Come to me”: the Master is addressing the crowds who are following him, “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36). The Pharisees weighed them down with an endless series of petty regulations (cf. Acts 15:10), yet they brought no peace to their souls. Jesus tells these people, and us, about the kind of burden he imposes: “Any other burden oppresses and crushes you, but Christ’s actually takes weight off you. Any other burden weighs down, but Christ’s gives you wings. If you take a bird’s wings away, you might seem to be taking weight off it, but the more weight you take off, the more you tie it down to the earth. The off, the more you tie it down There it is on the ground, and you wanted to relieve it of a weight; give it back the weight of its wings and you will see how it flies” (St Augustine, Sermons, 126). “All you who go about tormented, afflicted and burdened with the burden of your cares and desires, go forth from them, come to me, and I will refresh you and you shall find for your souls the rest which your desires take from you” (St John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, book 1, chap. 7, 4).
Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” St Jerome