The Gospel according to Matthew (11:28-30)
Jesus said: “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.”
Reflection: We have probably all been to a picnic where one of the games played was the Three-legged race. People race in pairs with each person’s inside leg tied to their partner. This is usually a crowd pleaser because of the struggles and mishaps we get to witness as everyone attempts to get any kind of momentum. The winners are usually the ones who figure out how to work in unison and find a rhythm that allows them to move forward steadily not necessarily rapidly. Today’s gospel made me think of the cooperation needed, on our part, to walk in unison with Jesus while we are yoked to him. Sometimes I (Ana) feel as if I am running a three-legged race trying to keep my balance and not fall. I knew that returning to work after being retired 4 years would be challenging but I didn’t realize how difficult. Juggling the responsibilities of being a deacon’s wife, a mother, a grandmother, maintaining a home and all my involvement in my ministries was beyond my imagination. I am so blessed that Paul is so supportive and my partner in this race. We discuss our busy schedules and somehow manage to accomplish so much. I know I am also blessed that I can count on God when I am feeling overwhelmed. He helps me find a way to get done what is needed and move on to the next leg of this race. As Ana and I approach 43 years of marriage we are well aware when we are equally yoked. That doesn’t necessarily mean we are 50/50. There are plenty of times when one of us bears the brunt of the load. I can count on her and she can count on me. I know this because we have been through so much together. In good times and bad we have clung to each other and grown in ways I could never have imagined. And deep within both of our lives is the gratitude for how our yoke, because of our vocation of marriage, is shared with Jesus. While Ana and I share one spot, Jesus occupies the other. It is when we walk in step with the Redeemer that we can make the most progress. The rest Jesus offers us is not void of suffering and hardship. He is willing to walk with us and share the bad and helps us see the good in everything. Isn’t it amazing how the relief of his yoke is not through power or strength but in the grace of humility. Jesus’ offer does not depend on our strength but on our willingness to surrender and trust Him.
Action of the day: In today’s busy and distracted world we are often out of step with Jesus because we are overwhelmed. Slow down, become aware of whose yoke you share, and allow His grace to help you find your stride.