From the Desk of Father Mac
of Ordinary Time
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.
For Information, please contact the
Parish Office at
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 818.986.8234