Exodus 1-3; Matthew 11

Matthew 11: 28, 30 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Catholicism at its heart is a great paradox.  By taking up the yoke therein lies freedom and peace of heart; i.e. in faithfulness and suffering there is joy.  I imagine there were some side conversations among the disciples after Jesus told them they were going to be beaten, thrown in prison (no “country club prisons” in the 1st century!) – even killed perhaps – for the sake of the Gospel.  I can see my namesake Thomas shaking his head and muttering to Peter “And we signed on for this…why?”  It is counter-intuitive that being the King’s Friend would bring persecution instead of gold, honors, and glory.  There is a “prosperity Gospel” to which some Christians adhere that the expectation is worldly blessings for faithfulness, not suffering.  Yet in studying the lives of the saints we see over and over that suffering was accepted as a reward for holiness, an opportunity to share the Passion of Christ.

GOD’S ANSWER: Mankind’s first parents chose to go their own way, a false freedom that separated them from the Divine Life, and introduced death into the world.  But I revealed the way back to Divine Life, and out of love always respect men’s freedom to choose or not choose that way.  There is no sin you can commit that permanently blocks the way back; you just have to choose it.

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