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“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”



(Mt 11:28)

The lecture that HH the Pope gave on Wednesday 26-10-2005

Ye, brethren:

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

Lord talks.

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

into temptation”.

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

Prophet says:

“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

and saints.

On the days of our fathers the apostles, the

apostles were in hardship and the church was praying

for them.

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.

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