“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.”( Matthew 11:28-30)
Each of us can remember words from scripture that touch our hearts. Each of us can remembers words from scripture that make us pause and reflect on them.
Today’s scripture passage ranks among the most memorable and the most tender. They also contain an invitation that could change our lives.
The invitation is to be yoked with Christ. Let’s review that since yoke is not the most widely used words in our vocabulary.
To be yoked with Jesus is to be united with him in a relationship of love, trust, and obedience. When we can do that Jesus promises to carry our burdens with us and gives us his strength to move on and to follow in his way of love.
We have all been at points in our life when we are confronted with a situation that either makes us feel terribly alone, or causes us overwhelming grief, or so consumes us that we obsess over it and lose our focus.
When we are tortured by fear and discouragement, we struggle to even recognize the presence of God when He does manifest himself to us.
Those times, especially, are when Jesus invites us to feel the strength of his arms and to turn to the strength of His love for us,
He knows all of our weakness and knows that sometimes the little strength we have can fail us. So, He invites us to offload all our problems on Him and in return He will give us His yoke, which is good to bear and light. Jesus tells us that in Him we will find rest when we go on our knees and pray.
The yoke that Jesus in giving us, is that of humility and meekness. Jesus is saying that we always feel burdened and troubled because we lack humility and meekness. He tells us to be humble and meek, just like Him and we will find rest. What’s that about? It’s all about recognizing our need for Him. To be as humble as a child who runs to His parents when he or she is afraid, bruised or concerned.
The way we are going to be able to learn how to grow more deeply in “spiritual childhood” is precisely through our labors and burdens, through our hardships and sacrifices. Jesus gives us this invitation to enter as children more and more deeply into God’s revelation precisely through all that we’re going through, through all the various obstacles and challenges. He says if we do, he will give us “rest,” he will “refresh” us, he will remake us. He will give us the strength to move through a situation. As we do that, we learn more about ourselves. In time, we even learn that the perils of our life have strengthened us. By acknowledging our need for Him — by turning to Him to walk with us — by trusting that He will listen to us –, by acknowledging our dependence on Him – all of those and more give us a greater insight into ourselves, our awareness, our ability to face the future.
Rather than ever let life drive us to our knees and make us despair, instead we go on your knees, with a humble and contrite heart and tell Jesus all your problems.
Jesus Christ will never let us down when we seek His help. We may not see His help, we may not be aware of what He is doing but we know with the certainty of our Christian faith, that He is there.
That is why we take our burdens to Jesus Christ and that is where we find rest.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus Christ, we bring our burdens to You because it is only in You that we can find rest. Give us Your yoke which is good to bear and is light. May You forever sustain in us humility and strength us in your love.”
The way we learn from Jesus is not in a classroom seated on a chair. It’s by being yoked in this loving bond with Jesus. And when we are living in that union, then we not only learn “from” Jesus, but, as the Greek of St. Matthew’s Gospel says more literally, we learn Jesus. He tells us to “learn me.” We learn his humility, which is the capacity to see ourselves as we really are before God and others and how much we need God. We learn his meekness, which is the self-disciplined tameness that allows us calmly to find our strength in Him. We’ve got so much to learn from him, but we first must come, take on his yoke, uniting ourselves to him and then we will learn from him all we need.