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 for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:30)

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.

[Jesus said to His disciples],“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 His followers 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. Our Lord knew the yoke that the religious leaders and teachers of the Judaic law had been imposing on the Jewish nation. He never held His punches when 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).

The “yoke” of leading a renewal community will soon be passed on to our shoulders this coming January for the next three years. Although my wife and I have never before handled such a challenging responsibility, the prospect of leading our young chapter to new areas of evangelization and spiritual formation has rekindled our enthusiasm and willingness to serve the Lord in our brotherhood. We are aware of the burdens that we have to carry, and the obstacles that must inevitably be surmounted, but we firmly believe that our Lord has put us where He wants us, in His own good time. It is in this dynamic community where we have discovered Christ’s love, and this realization has made the burden of service easier to carry.

Most people refuse to take on the yoke of leadership because it is an additional burden on their already loaded schedules. In our fifteen years of active membership in this community, we have seen that it is a special group of individuals who happily take on the responsibilities of chief servant, unfazed by the challenge, time, effort and resources that they entail. And all of them give the same reason why they accepted the position: because it is for the Lord, and they do it out of love. And these are the people who are happiest in our brotherhood. Their joy and confidence in the Lord’s blessings are what inspire us, who follow their example to accept the “yoke of Christ”.

All Christians are called by God to avail of this unique opportunity of setting ourselves free from the oppressive loads of day to day living, and share in what our Lord Jesus is telling us. It is this: 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, then our own problems and personal cares will 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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