St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard,  Encino, California 91436














From the Desk of Father Mac

Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
July 09th, 2017

My Dear Friends in Christ,

In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks beautifully reassuring words: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light" (Matt 11:28-30). These words sound nice, but to someone who is suffering or going through a difficult trial, it may not make much sense to hear that our yoke is easy or our burden light. What is Jesus trying to tell us?

First of all, it might help to remember what a yoke is. A yoke is a wooden beam used on an ox or other animal to enable them to pull a load. Sometimes an animal is yoked individually, but more often than not, animals are yoked in pairs and pull the load together. Frequently, a young, untrained animal is yoked with an older, more experienced animal so that they can be trained.

What Jesus is trying to tell us is that we are yoked to him. We can say our yoke is easy and our burden is light because we don’t carry the load alone; Jesus helps us carry our burdens. Jesus invites the crowds to come to him, to follow and obey him, so that he can "give them rest."  He will never force us to labor and carry heavy burdens just for his own gratification, as selfish, power-hungry leaders do. Instead, Jesus invites us to walk by his side, uniting our crosses to his cross, as if we and he were harnessed to the same yoke. After all, Jesus has already done the “heavy lifting” for us by carrying the weight of our sins all the way to the cross!

Yes, we will have to work and suffer in this life, but when we do so united to Christ, it all has a purpose; it is all leading us somewhere. And so, instead of oppressing, depressing, and frustrating our souls, bearing crosses with Christ brings us deep satisfaction and peace of mind even in the midst of life's trials. Jesus offers his own yoke of trusting that God is present and leading us in the precise circumstances of each moment — whether or not we would have chosen them.

In Christ,



For Information, please contact the Parish Office at or phone 818.986.8234



St Cyril of Jerusalem Parish
15520 Ventura Boulevard
(mail: 4601 Firmament Ave)
Encino, CA  91436
818- 986.8234

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Image of artwork in header - Used with permission (one-time use only)  from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.
Title: "St Cyril of Jerusalem" - Artist: Anthony Visco, Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Philadelphia, PA - Shrine’s website:


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