Question of the Week: Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest.” What does it mean to “rest in the Lord?” What kind of rest does Jesus give us?
St. Francis early in his life wanted to be a knight in shining armor. He found great sorrow in that life.
He came back to Assisi defeated.
I took this photo outside the Basilica dedicated to him in Assisi. It shows him downcast and burdened with his sorrow.
But he was to shed that sorrow as he turned to the Lord.
In a dream, God asked him “Who do you think can best reward you, the Master or the servant?” Francis answered, “The Master.” The voice continued, “Why do you leave the Master for the servant?” Francis at that point changed direction. He realized the desire he had of being a knight was the burden he needed to shed. God was calling him to serve Him.
And, from that moment on, Francis began to shed the rich life of a merchant’s son, and his worldly dreams, to pursue the life Jesus revealed to him in the Gospel. Francis sold what he had, and in spite of his earthly father’s vehement objections, took care of the sick and the poor. In time, others would join in the work! They shed the burden of this world and discovered the freedom of being sons of the Most High God! They put their faith in Jesus Christ, and found their rest.
The deep rest that God wills us to have comes from God Himself. When a soul does God’s will, and seeks and desires God’s will, one finds Christ. One accepts Christ’s “yoke,” and learns from Jesus, who is meek and humble of heart.
Francis found his rest in Jesus Christ, and the more he prayed, the more peace came to him.
Since it is God’s will that we “rest”, I hope we all find that rest this summer in even deeper ways.
Going on vacation is good, and I am looking forward to taking some time off in a few weeks myself, but a vacation will only be “restful” if we allow ourselves to connect with God in a deeper way. I pray that grace may be given us all.
May God bless you!