July 09, 2017
A rich man entered a village and called all the poor people together in the town square. He told them that he wanted to share his wealth with them by giving each person enough money to begin a new life. Some of the poor people rushed forward, grateful to the rich man and eager to accept his gift. Others, however, said there must be some strings attached. No one gives away something unless they hoped for something in return. They thought the rich man was trying to control them so they refused to accept any of his wealth. When the rich man left that village, some of the people were ready to begin a new life, while others, who mistrusted the rich man, had condemned themselves to a life of poverty and hunger.
Think of how many invitations you have received in the past year. Perhaps you were invited to a wedding, graduation, anniversary, or a birthday party. Or maybe a friend or relative invited you over to dinner. Some of these invitations you graciously accepted, while others you politely declined.
Besides these simple invitations, some have received invitations to set out upon a new way of life. Some have gone onto college, began new jobs, or retired. Some have committed themselves to each other in marriage. Some have chosen to remain single and some have chosen religious vocations.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” This is the invitation of Jesus Christ to all peoples of all times. This is the invitation of Jesus to us today:
- Are you lonely? Jesus says, “Come to me.”
- Are you sick and suffering? Jesus says, “Come to me.”
- Are you filled to despair?
- Are you experiencing family strife? Jesus says, “Come to me.”
- Is your life empty? Are you looking for more?
- Are you grieving the loss of a loved one? Jesus says, “Come to me.”
- Have you grown weak w/old age?
- Are you not sure what you want to do with your life?
Jesus says, “Come to me.”
Wherever we are in our lives right now, the Lord issues this invitation: “Come to me.” We are free to do what we want like the people in the story I shared with you. We can say “Yes” or “No,” accept or reject the invitation. The choice is yours.