14 Sunday A - Those who are tired and laboured, come to me.


There is a wonderful legend concerning the quiet years of Jesus, the years prior to his visible ministry. The legend claims that Jesus the carpenter was one of the master yoke-makers in the Nazareth area. People came from miles around for a yoke, hand carved and crafted by Jesus son of Joseph. 
When customers arrived with their team of oxen Jesus would spend considerable time measuring the team, their height, the width, the space between them, and the size of their shoulders. Within a week, the team would be brought back and he would carefully place the newly made yoke over the shoulders, watching for rough places, smoothing out the edges and fitting them perfectly to this particular team of oxen. 
That's the yoke Jesus invites us to take. Do not be misled by the word "easy," for its root word in Greek speaks directly of the tailor-made yokes: they were "well-fitting." The yoke Jesus invites us to take, the yoke that brings rest to weary souls, is one that is made exactly to our lives and hearts. The yoke he invites us to wear fits us well, does not rub us nor cause us to develop sore spirits and is designed for two. His yokes were always designed for two. And our yoke-partner is none other than Christ himself...
A mother was preparing breakfast for her two-year-old daughter. She asked the toddler, "What would you like for breakfast--a bagel or a bowl of cereal?"
 The little girl answered, "Chocolate."
 "No," her mother replied, "You can't have chocolate for breakfast. Do you want a bagel or cereal?"
 Again the little girl said, "Chocolate."
 Slightly exasperated, the mother said, "No, honey. You can't have my chocolate until after lunch. Now what do you want . . .a bagel or cereal?"
The little girl said with a grin, "Lunch!" (as told by Don Colbert, What Would Jesus Eat? [2002], 145). 
Cravings. We all get them. Whether they are the need for ice cream at midnight, or hot wings during the big game, or some Sunday evening yearning for a mystery casserole your grandmother cooked up when you were eight. We crave flavors with our taste buds, but even more we crave them with our memories, and our souls.  

As life unfolds our "good food" memories are too often gradually replaced by appetites of a different nature. Instead of sweet or salty, savory or creamy, we desire more expensive, heady, sometimes toxic mixtures. Our appetite is whetted not by honey or gravies, but by success, by advancements, by money, by security, by power... 
A Beautiful Doxology 

Early one morning some years ago, Robert Raines got into his car and started driving through the mountains. There was no one on the road (at that time) as the mountains were quietly beginning a new day. The beautiful colors of autumn were splashed all over the trees. It was a magnificent and glorious sight as the early morning sun glistened upon the wonders of the mountains and the valleys below.

And then it happened... Robert Raines saw one of the most beautiful things he had ever witnessed in his life.

Right there at the very edge of that great mountain peak and facing the gorgeous valley below... was a young man in his early twenties with a trumpet pressed to his lips. And, do you know what he was playing? With his lungs expanded fully and releasing all of the energy in his soul, he was playing the Doxology on his trumpet!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise, Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

The point is clear: With all the stresses and problems in this life, still the truth is:
- We have so many doxologies to sing,
- So much to be grateful for,
- So many blessings to count.

The point is: Life is more than a grueling endurance test. Life is more than a survival game. Life is more than a coping competition.

So, you see... it's not enough to just escape the stress. It's not enough to just endure the stress. Thank God... there is another option...
James W. Moore, Collected Sermons,
 Counter-cultural Surrender 

There is something quite important for us to understand as we celebrate Independence Day. There is a "flip flop" quality to understanding today's scripture. It goes counter to our usual way of thinking. America is the home of Davey Crocket who conquered the "wild frontier" and Wyatt Earp who tamed the "wild west." We honor and value independence, self-sufficiency, strength and the glory of a "self-made" man or woman. Surrender is what we did not do. With brains and brawn we became a super power in the world. "Yankee Ingenuity" is the brilliance that made us great. Resisting the yoke others would put on us is the strength that made us free.

Now Jesus comes along to say that wisdom and intelligence did not cut the mustard when it comes to knowing God. Not only is the yoke not to be resisted, we are to voluntarily take this yoke upon ourselves and surrender to one who is greater than us!

How counter-cultural can you get? We can not fight, or think or power ourselves into the kingdom of God and the peace of Christ. 

John Jewell, Knowing God
 The Discipline of Simplicity 

In Richard Foster's book of discipline he divides discipline into three parts: Inward, Outward, and Corporate discipline. He places simplicity under the category of the Outward Disciplines. Here are his nine ways to order our world so that we can create simplicity in our life. 

First, buy things for their usefulness rather than their status
Second, reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.
Third, develop a habit of giving things away.
Fourth, refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
Fifth, learn to enjoy things without owning them.
Sixth, develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.
Seventh, look at a healthy skepticism at all "buy now, pay later" schemes.
Eighth, obey Jesus' instructions about plain, honest speech.
Ninth, reject anything that will breed the oppression of others.
Tenth, shun whatever would distract you from you main goal: "Seek first the kingdom of God."

Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline.
 The Sweetest Sound 

There is a story that Hebrew families tell their children to help them understand the fourth commandment. The fourth commandment reads, "Six days you shall labor but on the seventh you shall rest." The story is called, "The Sweetest Sound." The main character in the story is King Ruben. It goes something like this.

The king asked his royal subjects, "What is the sweetest melody of all?" Early the next morning they gathered all sorts of musicians. The sound awoke the king and all morning he listened to their tunes. But, after listening to all of them he could not tell which was the sweetest sound. Finally, one subject suggested they all play together. It was so noisy the king couldn't think.

About that moment a woman, dressed in her Sunday best, pushed to the front of the crowd and stepped forward. "O, king," she said, "I have the answer to your question." The king was surprised since she had no instrument. "Why didn't you come earlier?" he asked. She replied, "I had to wait until the setting of the sun." The musicians were still playing and the king told them all to stop.

The woman then took two candles and placed them on the king's balcony rail. She lit them just as the sun continued to set. The flames glowed in the evening darkness. She then lifted her voice and said, "Blessed art thou, O Lord, Our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us with the commandments and commanded us to kindle the Sabbath lights." She then said, "He who has an ear, let him hear."

Everyone was completely still. "What is that?" asked the king." He could not hear a sound. The woman then replied, "What you hear is the sound of rest, the sweetest melody of all."

Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This is also the sweetest sound any of us can hear.

Keith Wagner, True Freedom
 A Contented Man 

A story is told of a king who was suffering from a malady and was advised by his astrologer that he would be cured if the shirt of a contented man were brought to him to wear. People went out to all parts of the kingdom after such a person, and after a long search they found a man who was really happy...but he did not possess a shirt. 

David Leininger, Ask the Average Person,
 Did You Use All Your Strength? 

I remember an old story about a little boy who was out helping dad with the yard work. Dad asked him to pick up the rocks in a certain area of the yard. Dad looked over and saw him struggling to pull up a huge rock buried in the dirt. The little boy struggled and struggled while Dad watched. Finally, the boy gave up and said, "I can't do it." Dad asked, "Did you use all of your strength?" The little boy looked hurt and said, "Yes, sir. I used every ounce of strength I have." The father smiled and said, "No you didn't. You didn't ask me to help." The father walked over and then the two of them pulled that big rock out of the dirt. 

One of the great Biblical truths seems impossible. Liberty comes through being yoked with Christ.

Billy D. Strayhorn, Freedom through the Yoke
Our Value in God's Eyes 

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of two hundred, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 bill to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the $20 bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. 

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To God, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are always priceless." 


One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. "I don't get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did." 

"But you didn't notice," said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest." 

 Don't Miss Life 

Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-famous architect, told how a lecture he received at the age of nine helped set his philosophy of life. An uncle, a stolid, no-nonsense type, had taken him for a long walk across a snow-covered field. At the far side, his uncle told him to look back at their two sets of tracks. "See, my boy," he said, "how your footprints go aimlessly back and forth from those trees, to the cattle, back to the fence then over there where you were throwing sticks? But notice how my path comes straight across, directly to my goal. You should never forget this lesson!" "And I never did," Wright said. "I determined right then not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had." 

2.     From Fr. Tony Kadavil’s Collection: 

1.     1: “Lord, I've done the best I can.”  

Pope St. John XXIII during the Second Vatican Council days used to submit all his anxieties to God by this prayer every night: “Lord, Jesus, I’m going to bed. It's your Church. Take care of it!”  The President Dwight David Eisenhower knew about that inner rest derived from submitting daily lives to God. He had it even while he was the leader of armed forces in World War II. His every decision during that awful conflict had monumental consequences. How did he deal with the pressure? Ike shared with his former pastor, Dean Miller that he didn't try to carry his burden alone. Some nights when the strain became too great, Eisenhower would simply pray, "Lord, with your grace I've done the best I can. You take over until morning." And he understood very well Jesus’ advice in today’s Gospel: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11: 28).

2.     Disturbing statistics on stress:  

A few years ago, The Comprehensive Care Corporation of Tampa, Florida published a booklet about stress in our modern world. The facts are disturbing. (1) One out of four (that’s 25% of the American People) suffers from mild to moderate depression, anxiety, loneliness and other painful symptoms which are attributed mainly to stress. (2) Four out of five adult family members see a need for less stress in their daily lives. (3) Approximately half of all diseases can be linked to stress-related origins, including ulcers, colitis, bronchial asthma, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer. (4) Unmanaged stress is a leading factor in homicides, suicides, child abuse, spouse abuse and other aggravated assaults. (5) The problem of stress is taking a tremendous toll economically, also. In our nation alone, we Americans are now spending 64.9 billion dollars a year trying to deal with the issue of stress. That is why Jesus shared the “good news” with us a long time ago when He said: “Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11: 28). 

3.     “If I keep my bow always stretched, it will break."  

Once St. Anthony, the hermit, was relaxing with his disciples outside his hut when a hunter came by. The hunter was surprised and mildly shocked to see the saint taking it easy. This was not his idea of what a monk should be doing, and he rebuked the saint. But Anthony said, "Bend your bow and shoot an arrow."  The hunter did so. "Bend it again and shoot another," said Anthony. The hunter did so-- again and again.   At  last  the  hunter said,  ”Father  Anthony,  if  I  keep  my  bow  always stretched, it will break." "So it is with a monk," replied Anthony. "If we push ourselves beyond measure, we will break; it is right from time to time to relax our efforts." Jesus gives us the same message in today’s gospel. 

4.     Rest and peace:  

Doctor: Your husband needs rest and peace. Here are some sleeping pills. Wife: When must I give them to him? Doctor: They are for you... 

5.     The pills for mental rest which makes you restless:  

George came home from the psychiatrist looking very worried. 'What's the problem?' his wife asked. 'The doctor told me I could have no worry and perfect peace of mind if I take a pill every day for the rest of my life.' 'So what? Lots of people have to take a pill every day their whole lives.' 'I know,' said George, 'but the doctor gave me only four pills!' 

6.     In search of rest:  

A man had been driving all night and by morning was still far from his destination. He decided to stop at the next city he came to, and park somewhere quiet so he could get an hour or two of sleep. As luck would have it, the quiet place he chose happened to be on one of the city's major jogging routes. No sooner had he settled back to snooze when there came a knocking on his window. He looked out and saw a jogger running in place.  "Excuse me, sir," the jogger said, "do you have the time?" The man looked at the car clock and answered, "8:15". The jogger said thanks and left. The man settled back again, and was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window and another jogger. "Excuse me, sir, do you have the time?" "8:25!" The jogger said thanks and left. Now the man could see other joggers passing by and he knew it was only a matter of time before another one disturbed him. To avoid the problem, he got out a pen and paper and put a sign in his window saying, "I do not know the time!" Once again he settled back to sleep. He was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window. "Sir, sir? It's 8:45!." 

7.     The tired part of me is inside and out of reach:  

In 1863, the Civil War was raging and the end was far from sight. Abraham Lincoln was out for a ride with his friend and aide  Noah  Brooks.  Brooks,  noticing  the  president’s  obvious fatigue, suggested that he take a brief rest when they got back to the White House. “A rest,” Lincoln replied, “I don’t know about a rest. I suppose it’s good for the body, but the tired part of me is inside and out of reach.” Lincoln was acknowledging a very important truth. There are many sources of fatigue. Physical fatigue may be the most benign. There is the fatigue that comes from stress, fatigue that comes from worry, fatigue that comes not only from worrying about the future, but also worrying about the past and fatigue that comes from trying to be something we are not. What we really need is not time off nor time away. Rather, what we need is time that is filled with meaning and purpose, that is saturated with the grace of God. What we need, according to this wonderful gospel paradox, is a different burden: the yoke of Christ. 

8.     "I'm afraid they're all wondering where I went."  

An elderly woman at the nursing  home  received  a  visit  from  one  of  her  fellow  church  members.

"How are you feeling?" the visitor asked. "Oh," said the lady, "I'm just worried sick!" "What are you worried about, dear?" her friend asked. "You look like you're in good health. They are taking care of you, aren't they?" "Yes, they are taking very good care of me." "Are you in any pain?" she asked. "No, I have never had a pain in my life." "Well, what are you worried about?" her friend asked again. The lady leaned back in her rocking chair and slowly explained her major worry. "Every close friend I ever had has already died and gone on to heaven," she said. "I'm afraid they're all wondering where I went." (bounce- ) 

9.     Worriers or warriors?  

Author Stephanie Stokes Oliver in her book, Daily Cornbread, asks whether we are worriers or warriors. Chronic worriers let their anxiety and fear interfere with living their life to the fullest. They manifest their worry in physical symptoms like headaches and knotted muscles. Worriers seem unable to take control of their situation and make a positive change for themselves. Warriors, on the other hand, find healthy ways to deal with their fears. They don't automatically shut down and go into crisis mode. They trust that God will sustain them. Warriors take positive action to change a negative situation. (Stephanie Stokes Oliver, New York: Doubleday, 1999). Astronaut Jim Lovell is a warrior. In a news conference he was asked about Apollo 13. He was in command of that spacecraft when it experienced an explosion on its way to the moon. With their oxygen almost gone, their electrical system out, their spaceship plunging toward lunar orbit, it appeared Lovell and his crew would be marooned hundreds of thousands of miles from Earth. Lovell was asked, "Were you worried?" Such as obvious question drew snickers. But then Lovell gave a surprising answer. "No, not really." he said. "You see, worry is a useless emotion. I was too busy fixing the problem to worry about it. As long as I had one card left to play, I played it." [Second Thoughts--One Hundred Upbeat Messages for Beat-up Americans by Mort Crim (Health Communication, Inc., Deerfield Beach, Florida, 1997), p. 154]. Jim Lovell is a warrior. 

10.  "My yokes fit well."  

In Jesus' time, oxen were linked together by means of a wooden yoke across their necks. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible teaches this about yokes. "The carpenter probably made both yokes and plows. Joseph and Jesus undoubtedly had experience in making yokes." William Barclay makes the following statement in his commentary on Matthew: “There is a legend that Jesus made the best ox-yokes in all Galilee, and that from all over the country men came to him to buy the best yokes that skill could make. In those days as now, shops had their signs above the door; and it has been suggested that the sign above the door of the carpenter's shop in Nazareth may well have been: "My yokes fit well." It may well be that Jesus is here using a picture from the carpenter's shop in Nazareth where he had worked throughout the silent years. 


The Mayo Clinic announced a sure cure for getting rid of that tired feeling. Tests revealed that people are chronically tired because they live unbalanced lives. And so they took Dr. Richard Clark Cabot's famous formula for life - WORK, PLAY, LOVE and WORSHIP. These are the ultimates of life that must be had in proper balance - work, play, love and worship. The Mayo Clinic made them a symbol, four arms of equal length. They said that whenever one or more of those arms becomes a stub, then the result in unhappiness and unhappiness is usually the forerunner of fatigue. Thus, a business man's arm may be long on work but short on play and worship. A debutante's arm may be long on play and short on work. A spinster may be long on work and worship and short on play and love. The old saying that "all work and no play make Jack a dull boy" is psychologically sound. And so, all work and no worship leads to chronic fatigue. It's a simple, psychological and physical fact. 

12.  Twenty-four hours’ work:  

Grandpa clocked in long hours on the railroad or in the mines, but when he came home there were no faxes waiting for him to answer, no cellular phones or e-mail to interrupt his after-dinner smoke. Home was home, not a pit stop for data-gathering before heading back to the office. Today, there is no downtime, no escape from other people. We have cell phones in the car and beepers in our pockets. We carry them to the church, to the beach, and to the bathroom. Says Dr. Mark Moskowitz of the Boston Medical Center: 

”A lot of people are working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, even when they’re not technically at work. It’s a guaranteed formula for breakdown." Today’s gospel message is for them. 

13.  Shirt of a happy man:  

A story is told of a king who was suffering from a malady and was advised by his astrologer that he would be cured if the shirt of a contented man were brought to him to wear. People went out to all parts of the kingdom after such a person, and after a long search they found a man who was really happy...but he did not possess a shirt. (Pastor's Professional Research Service, "Happiness"). That is why Oscar Wilde wrote, "In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." He was trying to warn us no matter how hard we work at being successful, success will not satisfy us. By the time we get there, having sacrificed so much on the altar of being successful, we will realize that success was not what we wanted. 

14.  Pacifier for stress:   

A young mother was describing a terrible day she had experienced. The washing machine broke down, the telephone kept ringing, her head ached, and the mail carrier brought a bill she had no money to pay. Almost to the breaking point, she lifted her one-year-old into his highchair, leaned her head against the tray, and began to cry. Without a word, her son took his pacifier out of his mouth and stuck it in hers. It goes with the pressures of modern life. 

Some of us are stressed out and we are tired. Today’s gospel prescribes a way out for stress. 

15.  “And now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.”  

Soren Kierkegaard (pronounced Kerkegor) was a Danish philosopher who suffered bouts of extreme melancholy, undoubtedly due to a difficult upbringing. One day he wrote in his Journal, “And now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” What a liberating thought: “And now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” Not what others expect me to be. Not some unrealistic image I have of myself. No, with God’s help I shall become who I really am. No more stressful pretenses. No more misguided strivings. I will relax and be me. When we feel accepted by Christ, then for the first time in our life we become free. When we are yoked to Jesus we no longer have to prove to the world that we belong. 

16.  "A Work-Weary World?"  

Michael Boyer wrote an article for National Geographic entitled, "A Work-Weary World?" that may give us a little comfort. He notes that Americans are famous for their work ethic. However, according to a study  by  the  International  Labor  Organization  we  are  no  longer  the  world leaders in hours worked per year. South Korea's booming economy necessitates a six-day work week. In the past few years, South Koreans have averaged 2,390 hours of work per year, as compared to the 1,792 hours of work per year in the U.S. Workers in Japan, Poland, Australia, and New Zealand also worked more hours than U.S. workers. Swedish workers clocked the fewest work hours in an average year, only about 1,337. (2) Now before you pack your bags for Sweden, remember those cold, dark winters. Also, you don't speak the language. Some of you, I know, are weary from work. 

17.  “I have lots more remedies!”   

Have you heard about the farmer who went to a government bureaucrat specializing in animal health? The farmer sought help from  the  “expert”  because  ten  of  his  chickens  had  suddenly  died.  The government expert instructed the farmer to give aspirin to all the surviving chickens. Two days later, however, the farmer returned. Twenty more chickens had died. What should he do now? The expert said quickly: “Give all the rest castor oil.” Two days later, the farmer returned a third time and reported 30 more dead chickens. The government expert now strongly recommended penicillin. Two days later a sad farmer showed up. All the rest of his chickens had now died. They were all gone. “What a shame,” said the expert, “I have lots more remedies!”  The world offers many so-called remedies to the problem of stress: - Get away - Run away - Fly away - Take a pill to ease your nerves - Take a drink to drown your sorrows - Take a shot to kill the pain - Get drunk, take drugs, sleep a lot.  But the truth is most of them don’t work. Jesus prescribes just one remedy for stress: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

18.  The Jewish parable on the burden of Mosaic Law.  

"There was a poor widow who had two daughters and who owned a field. When she began to plough, Moses said to her through his Law, `You must not plough with an ox and an ass together.' When she began to sow, the Law said, `You must not sow your field with mingled seed.' When she began to reap and to make stacks of corn, it said,

`When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it' (Deut.24:19), and `you shall not reap your field to its very border' (Lev.19:9). When she began to thresh, the law said, `Give me the heave-offering, and the first and second tithe.' She accepted the ordinance and gave them all to God. 

“What did the poor woman then do? She sold her field, and bought two sheep, to clothe herself from their fleece, and to have profit from their young. When they bore their young, Aaron the priest (who represented the Law) said, `Give me the first-born.'  So  she  accepted  the  decision,  and  gave  them  to  him.  When  the shearing time came, Aaron said again, `Give me the first of the fleece of the sheep' (Deut.18:4). Then she thought: `I cannot stand up against this man. I will slaughter the sheep and eat them.' Then Aaron said, `Give me the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach' (Deut.18:3). The woman said, `Even when I have killed them I am not safe. Behold they shall be devoted.'   Aaron said, `In that case they belong entirely to me' (Num.18:14). He took them and went away and left her weeping with her two daughters." The story is a parable of the continuous demands that the Law made upon men in every   activity of life. These demands were indeed a burden.    Jesus invites us to take his yoke upon our shoulders. (Taken from William Barclay). 

19. “Do you have any idea who I am?" 

The Los Angeles Times published the story of a commercial airline flight cancellation which resulted in a long line of travelers trying to get bookings on another flight. One man in the line grew increasingly impatient with the slow-moving line.  At last, he pushed his way to the front and angrily demanded a first-class ticket on the next available flight. "I’m sorry," said the ticket agent, “First I’ll have to take care of the people who were ahead of you in the line." The irate man then pounded his fist on the ticket counter, saying, "Do you have any idea who I am?" Whereupon, the ticket agent picked up the public address microphone and said, "Attention, please! There is a gentleman at the ticket counter who does not know who he is. If there is anyone in the airport who can identify him, please come to the counter." Hearing this, the man retreated, and the people waiting in line burst into applause.   We are like this man. We have forgotten how to wait patiently. In today’s gospel, Jesus invites us to learn his meekness and humility. (Tony Kadavil)

20. ”Veni, vidi, dormivi”:  

National Public Radio had a story about a club that has been formed at a high school in Greenwich, Connecticut. The club is called the Power Nap Club! A group of students go to a room at the end of the school day where they turn off the lights, put their heads on their desks, plug in a tape of quiet classical music, and take what they call a “power nap” for about a half hour. “Their club tee-shirts are decorated with a cardinal (the school mascot), wearing a little nightcap on his head. Inscribed on the tee-shirt is a new version of an old Latin motto, ‘Veni, vidi, dormivi: I came, I saw, I slept!’ The club was formed not because these are lazy high school students, but exactly the reverse. These kids are going to school all day, participating in sports, volunteering in the community,  going  to  church  or  mosque  or  synagogue,  and  holding  down part-time jobs.  They’re exhausted. And they’ve learned  that  just a  little  nap makes all the difference in the world” (Carlton Young). In today’s gospel, Jesus says to us and to them, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  (Tony Kadavil)

My Mother taught me Humility:

Indra Nooyi from Chennai, India is the fifth CEO in PepsiCo's 44-year history. She recounted the day 14 years ago when she was told that she would be made president of PepsiCo and be named to the board of directors.

She said she was "overwhelmed" but her mother's reaction was, she said, "let the news wait. Can you go out and get some milk."

Ms Nooyi recalled her mother telling her, "let me explain something to you. You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you're the wife, you're the daughter, you're the daughter-in-law, you're the mother. You're all of that. Nobody else can take that place. So leave that damned crown in the garage. And don't bring it into the house."

"You know I've never seen that crown," the corporate honcho said.

Come to me all those who are burdened....

Born in KashmirBaby Halder (or Haldar) (1973) she was abandoned by her mother at age 4, when her father's habitual drinking forced her mother to leave her father who took her to Durgapur, West Bengal, where she grew up. She went to school intermittently, and dropped off after sixth standard. At the age of 12, her father married her off to a man 14 years her senior, She had her first child at the age of 13 and two more in a quick succession. She started working as domestic servant in the neighbourhood. Finally in 1999, at the age of 25, after years of domestic violence, she left her husband, escaping to Delhi on a train, with her three children on board. 

Now as a single parent, she started working as a housemaid in New Delhi homes, to support and educate her children, sons Subodh and Tapas and daughter, Piya; and then encountered several exploitative employers.  

Her last employer, writer and retired anthropology professor Prabodh Kumar living in Gurgaon, a suburb of capital New Delhi, seeing her interest in books while dusting his book shelves, encouraged her to first read leading authors, starting with Taslima Nasreen's autobiographical Amar Meyebela(My Girlhood) about a tumultuous youth and deep anger on being born a woman in a poor society. This deeply moved Halder and turned out be a turning point, as it was to inspire her own memoirs, later on. She soon zealously began reading other authors. Subsequently before going on a trip to South India, he bought her a notebook and pen and encouraged her to write her life story, which she did late at night after work and sometimes in between chores, using plain matter-of-fact language and writing in native Bengali. When Kumar was back after a month, she had already written 100 pages. 

After several months, when her memoirs were completed, Kumar also aided in editing the manuscript, shared it with local literary circle and translated it into Hindi. This version was published in 2002 by a small Kolkata-based publishing house, Roshani Publishers. Much to their surprise, the book turned out to be a best-seller from the start. It immediately got extensive media attention as it threw light on the hard lives led by domestic servants in Asia and within two year it had published two more editions.The Bengali original, Aalo Aandhari (Light and Darkness) was also published in 2004.  

Halder, this Indian domestic help, studied only up to 6th (grade) standard became an author, whose acclaimed autobiography Aalo Aandhari (A Life Less Ordinary, 2006) describes her harsh life growing up and as a domestic worker, later translated into 21 languages, including 13 foreign languages. 

“Come to me all those who labour and are burdened, I will give you rest. I am meek and humble of heart.”