Lectio Divina: Matthew 11:28-30
2nd Week of Advent
1) Opening prayer
God of power and mercy,
open our hearts in welcome.
Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy,
so that we may share His wisdom
and become one with Him
when He comes in glory,
for He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
• Certain texts of the Gospel reveal their significance to us when we place them in the background of the Old Testament. This is how the very brief and very beautiful text of the Gospel of today is. In this text there are echoes of two themes greatly loved and recalled by the Old Testament, one from Isaiah and the other one from the so called Wisdom Books.
• Isaiah speaks of the Messiah, the Servant, and represents him as a disciple who is always looking for a word of comfort so as to be able to encourage those who are discouraged: “The Lord has given me a learned tongue, for me to know how to give a word of comfort to the weary. Morning by morning, he awakens my ear that I may hear him as a master” (Is 50: 4). And the Messiah Servant launches an invitation: “Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money come! Buy and eat; come buy wine and milk without money, free” (Is 55: 1). These texts were present in the memory of the people. They were like the songs of our childhood. When people listened to them, there is nostalgia. The same with the words of Jesus: “Come to me!” revived the memory of the nostalgic echo of those beautiful texts of Isaiah.
• The Books of Wisdom represent the divine wisdom as a woman, a mother who transmits to her sons her wisdom and tells them: “Buy her without money, put your necks under her yoke, let your souls receive instruction. She is near, within your reach. See for yourselves; how slight my efforts have been to win so much peace” (Si 51:25-27). Jesus repeats this same phrase: “You will find rest!”.
• Because of His way of speaking to people, Jesus awakens their memory and thus their hearts rejoiced and said: “The Messiah, so greatly awaited for, has come!” Jesus transformed the nostalgia into hope. He made people advance a step forward. Instead of fixing themselves on the image of a glorious Messiah, king and dominator, taught by the scribes, the people changed their opinion and accepted Jesus, Messiah Servant. A humble and meek Messiah, welcoming and full of tenderness, who made them feel at ease: the poor together with Jesus.
4) Personal questions
• Is the Law of God a light yoke which encourages me, or is it a weight which gets me tired?
• Have I felt sometimes the lightness and the joy of the yoke of the Law of God which Jesus has revealed to us?
5) Concluding Prayer
Bless Yahweh, my soul,
from the depths of my being, His holy name;
bless Yahweh, my soul,
never forget all his acts of kindness. (Ps 103)