“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
The lecture that HH the Pope gave on Wednesday 26-10-2005
In my mind so many words to say.
And in my heart even more than this.
But I prefer to remain silent.
And I want to be silent so that the
And trust that our silence may be more
And God hears this silence,
God hears this silence
And realizes all its meanings
And all what we suffer.
The verse that consoles us is the
saying of the Master and the Lord:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest.”
Meaning, come to Me all you who are under the
toughness of the hardship that became even more
than what you can bear. The world is full of
hardships either those facing individuals, groups,
cities or the whole world, but people rarely resort to
The Holy Bible taught us, in the Lord’s Prayer, to
say on every time and every day “And lead us not
God is the one who rescues but unfortunately we
repeat this prayer many times but not from the heart,
out of faith or out of having enough internal
In all what we are surrounded with of hardships
we put the problem before God and leave it in his
hands and say: Your will be done, if You want to solve
this problem and Your will be done, if You want us to
get the blessing of a cross to carry.
We put our problems before God, but the
question is, why before God?
Because God is the Pantocrator, He sees
everything, hears, knows and writes before Him a
book of remembrance, because God knows the
apparent and the hidden too. He knows what is
happening and what may be going to happen in a
while and in his knowledge he is just, merciful and a
good shepherd and in that the book of Ezekiel the
“I will feed My flock” and the Lord God says also
“I will seek what was lost and bring back what was
driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what
was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong,
and feed them in judgment.” (Ez 34:15).
He also says in the book of Isaiah the Prophet:
“the LORD has anointed Me To preach good
tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the
brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are
bound” (Is 61:1).
Our previous experiences with Him shows us how
God steps in and how He works and when things get
complicated, God’s hand work in power and clarity
and thus the bible says:
“casting all your care upon Him, for He cares
for you” (1 P 5:7).
And says also that He “will not allow you to be
tempted beyond what you are able, but with the
temptation will also make the way of escape” (1 Co
God always comforts and that is His work
comforting from the outside and the inside.
He comforts from the outside from the side of
external matters that tires the human.
And He comforts from inside from the side of the
man’s pain and suffering.
God’s powerful hand extended and comforted
Jonah’s and saved him in the fish’s belly, as God’s
powerful hand extended and comforted Daniel and
saved him even when he was in the den of lions, also
His merciful powerful hand extended to Joseph the
virtuous while he was in prison…!
God wants and is capable. He wants to do
good to us and he is capable of doing this good.
The examples of God’s working hand for us are
clear in the holy bible and in history. He says: “Come
to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest”.
But how do you “Come to Me”?
You “come to Me” through prayer, psalms,
fasting, liturgies, vows, mercy actions and by taking
hold of the horns of the altar.
At a time, the hardship became tough and thus
Esther came to God with the fasting of all the people
and God spoke in the heart of King Ahasuerus and
that brought all good. And on a time, Nehemiah came
to God with prayer and tears when he saw Jerusalem
wrecked down and al its doors burnt and God spoke
in the heart of the Persian King and God did a work.
You come to Me with the intercession of angels
On the days of our fathers the apostles, the
apostles were in hardship and the church was praying
David used to hear this verse “Come to Me, all
you who labor…” before it is said in the bible and thus
he said: “LORD, how they have increased who trouble
me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are
they who say of me, "There is no help for him in
God."” (Ps 3:1, 2). But he used to hear in his heart
the comfort of the Lord and thus he says afterwards:
“But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and
the One who lifts up my head…” (Ps 3:3).
We as clergymen and religious men, collect the
people’s sorrows, pains and troubles and place them
before God and so was the work of:
Angels on Jacob’s ladder, were going up with the
request and going down with the answer and God’s
The twenty four priests (elders) who are standing
before God’s throne taking people’s needs and putting
them in their golden bowls that are full of incense and
raise them to God.
Prophet Moses in his work as a mediator between
the people and God.
Prophet Samuel as well.
We do not claim that we solve problems but
we present them to God and leave them in His
When God says: “Come to Me, all you who labor…”
He teaches us also the danger and failure in going to
someone else other than Him. In his troubles, a person
may rely on himself, his intelligence or his skills which
do not help. And he may rely on people to find human
solutions and this is not useful too.
I remember than in year 1950, before my
monasticism, I wrote a poem:
“Close the door and argue with Jesus”, in which I
You, the confused, who is lost in deep thinking
Did people take away troublesome and sadness you had
People do not have a fixed, healing, proper opinion
So, solutions to a team against others to another
But I have a remedy that we have all tried
Close the door and argue with Jesus in the depth of the
And fill the night with prayer, wrestling and tears
Therefore, we go to God and not to people.
People are of different types, some do not care,
some offer theoretical solutions and some give feelings
without solutions, but God works and steps in even
without us asking.
God works and steps in without us asking.
At a time, the people of Israel were in a hardship
and they did not ask for anything, but God said to
Moses: “I have looked on the affliction of my people”
and He came down to save them.
God interfered in the offering of Isaac as a
burnt without him asking.
God spoke in the heart of King Constantine
without people asking for it and the result was the
decree of Milan on 313 that allowed religious
God also interfered when St. Peter was
imprisoned without St. Peter asking to be rescued.
God did not ignore Abel’s blood but said to his
murderer “The voice of your brother's blood cries
out to Me from the ground”. God did not forsake the
blood of Naboth the Jezreelite.
God is so tenderhearted, and it is so scary
to fall in the hand of God the Eternal.
And the question remains: when does God
interfere? And how?
All what we say is that we have faith that He
definitely will interfere and without doubt will work,
and as it was, so it will be. And our experiences
with God fill our memories well and say in the
psalm: “If it had not been the LORD who was on
our side," Let Israel now say-- "If it had not been
the LORD who was on our side, When men rose up
against us, Then they would have swallowed us
alive” (Ps 124:1-3).
Our belief in God’s interference gives us
comfort, peace in our hearts and feeling of security.
It is sufficient that God takes the problem.
But as for the way it is solved and the time at
which it is, we leave it to His good will and his
wisdom and we are feeling safe.
We feel safe and listen to the bible’s saying:
“Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall
sustain you;” (Ps 55:22).
And the saying of the Lord Christ: “My Father
has been working until now, and I have been
working.” (Jn 5:17).
The Lord is Blessed in all what He does for us
and all what He does for our sake.
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium