There are times—some frequent and in rapid succession, some spaced at long intervals—when Jesus’ promises seem simply too good to be true. They seem like dreams, beautiful words that have no place in the hard world. Today’s Gospel reading is filled with just such dreamy words: “I will give you rest,” “meek and humble,” “my yoke is easy.”
Let me be honest though. Very often what I resist in words like these is not the result or the end, it’s the getting there. Because being given rest, having my burden taken from me, and receiving the light yoke in return means that whatever is currently occupying me, weighing me down, and compressing my spirit even now as I write and you read these words, may not actually be what God wants us to be doing.
And that means change—change of our plans, change of our habits of control, change of our expectations. I think that when we’re able to be a little more honest than normal it’s clear: it’s not that Jesus is speaking about an imaginary world; it’s that my imagination has been too small. It’s not that Jesus’ words are too dreamy; it’s that my dreams are not large enough.
—Fr. Patrick “Paddy” Gilger, SJ, was ordained on June 15, 2013, and is serving as Associate Pastor of St. John’s Parish, Creighton University, Omaha. Click here for an Ignatian News Network video on ordination featuring Fr. Gilger.