Come to me and rest – Br. David Vryhof

Br. David Vryhof

Matthew 11:28-30

 I can’t think of a more suitable text to ponder while in retreat than these words of Jesus drawn from the Gospel of Matthew.  A retreat is a chance to step back from our normal routines and responsibilities, to surrender our burdens and cares to God, and to receive once again God’s healing and life-giving love.  //

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself coming into the presence of Jesus, who is so gentle and so humble.  Imagine him extending his arms to you, welcoming you into his embrace.  Hear him say to you, “Come to me; I want to give you rest….  I see what a heavy burden you’ve been bearing and how weary you are from carrying this load.  Let me take it from you.  Come apart for a while, and rest.”  //

What is the burden of which Jesus speaks when he addresses these words to you?  What is it that you are carrying today, or that you have been carrying for weeks or months or even years?  What is it that weighs so heavily upon your heart?  What is it that fills you with anxiety and fear, that exhausts your mind and binds up your emotions?  What burdens or cares are sapping your strength, day after day after day?  //  Take a moment now to identify and name them….. and then picture yourself handing them over to Christ.  //

He offers us his yoke, which is easy and light.  He assures us that we need not carry life’s burdens on our own.  He is ready to shoulder them with us, to make light whatever it is that is weighing us down.  //

“Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  The invitation is especially appropriate for those of you who have entered into retreat with us this week.  But the promise is for us all, and it is offered to each of us every minute of every day.  Whenever we are weighed down with care, all we need do is to hand our burden to Christ, trusting him to carry it for us and with us.  As the psalmist says, “Whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” (Ps 56:3, BCP 662)  A simple act of trust, a simple letting go, that ushers us into the place of rest.

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  1. Kitty Whitman on March 23, 2024 at 06:06

    Pistos. Pistos. Pistos.
    Thanks be for all that was, is and is to be FHS,

  2. Mike Allen on July 16, 2023 at 10:54

    It’s been many many years since I lived and worked as a teenager at St John’s My mentor was Br Thomas but my 4pm tea time break friend who I would exchange letters with right up to his death, Fr Robert C. Smith were & still are the foundation in my emotional brick foubdation of my life. I asked to become a member of the Cowley Fathers. Br Thomas was an old 39…I say with a smile but he told me to live a bit of life first & if I wanted to come back that the doors of 980 Memorial Dr would be open

    Life I did live….30 yrs in law enforcement, scenes of death, suffering took its toll. I became a Detective in the Juvenile Division. Child abuse cases, sexual assaults etc Upon returing I became a statistic I fought so hard NOT to become.

    Mentally like that song by the group Ambrosia I kept holding in to yesterday.

    But in my most down times my mind reaches out to the spirits of my youth…all from the SSJE. None will ever know just how much that summer they took me in was my “go to” …

    Anyway when I read this I felt comforted. I smiled & continue to read it.

    God bless to all and particularly any from a like past life of public service like me. God with you all and thank you

    • Kellianne on March 23, 2024 at 07:33

      Thank you for sharing

    • Connie on March 23, 2024 at 12:20

      Oh my, I can feel the pain of your years of service. I’m certain Jesus is always near you …. Ready and willing to take that heartache and heal you. Much love and respect

  3. John Greenman on July 15, 2023 at 11:04

    This is what I believe I heard from Jesus today, as I relinquished my burdens to him (NB: I have received notice of the recurrence of my colon cancer).”Be realistic, be careful. Perhaps reading all those letters is more that you can do now. Keep them for now. Perhaps you can read them later. Listen to your life. You may have only questions now. Perhaps the answers cannot be given you because you could not live them at this time. Be content with temporary measures. Tidy up. Be ready when it is time to move to the next stage. Know that I, Jesus, love you and embrace you no matter the past, no matter what expectations you may feel from self or others. Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. Love yourself, love others, love, love, love. Keep your eyes open and see what I am doing in you life and in the world.” Thank you, Jesus. Thy will not mine be done. Amen

  4. Dee Dee on July 15, 2023 at 07:34

    I’m so thankful for the chance to come on retreat at the monastery where I can rest. Giving up the difficult things I carry in my heart is the hard part. I will continue to try, and reminders like this help. Thank you, Br. David.

  5. Alan Rollins on July 26, 2022 at 21:44

    I have be reminded of this so often in life. Thank you, and bless you Brother David for this reflection, and the reminder once again.

  6. Pete Taft on July 21, 2022 at 17:40

    Wonderful reflection. I find myself casting the simplest of burdens and tasks to Jesus (it some of them seem trivial, but I also know that nothing is trivial to God). This reflection reminds me to keep that up, expand the practice. I know my life is tangibly better, richer because of this practice. Thanks again for the reminder, and the insights.

  7. Faith O. on July 21, 2022 at 16:22


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