“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened” (Mt 11:28). Maybe because it’s the Fourth of July weekend, I cannot help but hear within Jesus’s words still another invitation to the weary and worn:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
We certainly cannot equate Jesus’s call to discipleship with Emma Lazarus’s 1883 poem, “The New Colossus,” emblazoned on the base of the Statue of Liberty. But might the Spirit reveal an insight into the demands of discipleship if we place these two passages in dialogue with one another?How are Christ’s disciples to respond to those who would proclaim power to be greater than meekness and who seek to impose ever-increasing burdens upon those already shackled by the yoke of violence and poverty? Click To Tweet
And what if we listened to this dialogue between sacred scripture and secular poetry amid the shouts of our current political climate? How are Christ’s disciples to respond to those who would proclaim power to be greater than meekness and who seek to impose ever-increasing burdens upon those already shackled by the yoke of violence and poverty?
Jesus, our meek and just savior, offers a place of rest for those who seek to follow him. Why should we, who have found refuge in him, not do the same for others?
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash.