Remember that Christ bears all our burdens

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

ON the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are reminded in the gospel reading of the day that we should go to Christ since he is the one who will bear all our burdens and who will give us rest. (cfr. Mt 11,25-30)

We should never forget this truth of our faith, since in this life we cannot avoid having to face all sorts of trials, challenges, problems, difficulties, etc. The drama can be very heavy and quite twisted, and yet we are assured that Christ will take care of everything.

What we have to do is always to go to Christ. We should never go through our life’s drama by our lonesome and using only our human powers and ways. Like an instinct, we should immediately go to Christ who assured us that his yoke is easy and his burden light. Everything would be quite bearable.

Just the same, we also have to learn how to suffer, but suffering always with Christ. That would make any suffering we can have most meaningful. Such suffering can acquire a redemptive, purifying and strengthening character. With Christ in our suffering, we can manage to remain meek and humble, as he told us.

Christ already warned us about how our life here on earth is going to be. But he also has assured us that everything would just ok. We should just stick with him through thick and thin. “In the world, you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world,” he said. (Jn 16,33)

We should put these words into our mind and heart and make them the principle to follow whenever we find ourselves in some difficult situations. For this, we should just learn how to suffer, since suffering is inevitable in our earthly sojourn. We need to develop a certain kind of spiritual toughness that is based on our faith and vital identification with Christ.

With Christ, we can learn how to be tough when we are made to suffer. Our faith, the ultimate source of truth about ourselves, tells us that suffering is due to sin, to the misuse of our freedom, to our disobedience to the will of God who created us to be his image and likeness, to be children of his, sharing in his very own life.

Yet, in spite of that, God our Father, who is all goodness and the very fount of love, did not and does not cease to care for us. And while allowing us to suffer the consequences of our sin and disobedience, he also showed and continues to show us up to now how to tackle suffering in our earthly life.

Toward this end, God did nothing less than to send his son to us. The son became man and took on all our sinfulness, culminating this mission with his death on the cross. In so doing and in resurrecting, Christ converts our suffering due to sin into a way of our redemption.

Thus, if we have to be truly Christian, we need to be tough, really tough. Christ himself was tough, but with the toughness of love that goes all the way to assuming all the sins of men by offering his life on the cross. To be Christ-like we need to be tough. At the same time, to be tough we need to be with Christ. Otherwise, whatever toughness we may show would not be the real toughness expected of us.