The Yoke of Christ’s Love

Matthew 11: 28-30
Is 40: 25-31 / Ps 103:1-4,8,10

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me. . .
(Matthew 11:29)

No burden is too heavy,
No task too hard to serve the Lord,
God makes the job seem easy
With His Kingdom as its reward.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mt.11:28-30)

Reflection

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus invites the Jews to free themselves from the oppression of old Jewish traditions, and take upon themselves the New Covenant of His love and the Good News of salvation. Jesus knew the yoke that the religious leaders and teachers of the law had been imposing on the Jewish nation. He rebuked them, saying, “Woe to you, scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourself do not lift one finger to help them” (Luke 11:46).

Most people refuse to take on the yoke of leadership because it is an additional burden to their already loaded schedules. It is a rare breed of individuals who happily take on the responsibilities of serving others, unfazed by the challenge, time, effort and resources they entail. And the only reason they accept the position is because the service is for the Lord, and they do it for love. These are the people who are happiest. The response of young Red Cross volunteers in going to Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental for the search and rescue mission right after the super typhoon “Pablo” devastated these provinces was awe-inspiring, to say the least. Likewise, the spontaneous acts of charity from so many donors bringing cash and relief goods to the Red Cross office here in Davao City, as well as the generosity of many brothers and sisters in our Brotherhood (especially the generous cash donation coming from our governance in Manila) motivated some of us to buy food, water, blankets, (and even 300 pairs of rubber slippers for children) that we will bring to Mati, Davao Oriental today. One of our unit leaders provided a six-wheeler truck that was fully loaded with the relief provisions for the four-hour trip to the Mati Relief Center.

The tragedy that befell thousands of our citizens in many parts of our country has provided an opportunity for us to set ourselves free from the oppressive loads of day to day living, and share in what our Lord Jesus is telling us today. By carrying the burdens of others, the Lord will carry our own. If we give more concern to the troubles and difficulties of other people, especially those who need help most, then our own problems and personal cares will surely become lighter loads to bear.

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagle’s wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. (Isaiah 40:31) We thank You, Father God, for making us strong for the work ahead. Amen.

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