THE SERVANT GENERAL
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
MY YOKE IS EASY
Today’s gospel: Matthew 11:28-30
We all have our problems in life. We all have our difficulties
and challenges in Christian service. With disappointments,
frustrations and defeats, we at times might even be ready
to give up. We complain to Jesus, wondering why this is what
we get for serving him. Hear Jesus say, “For my yoke
is easy, and my burden light.” (v.30).
does not deny that there is a yoke and a burden. That is part
of the package. He in fact forewarns those who desire to follow
him. But then, this yoke is easy and this burden light.
might it seem otherwise at times?
when the burden we take on is not from Jesus. He says, “Take
my yoke upon you” (v.29a). Many burdens we have in life
are self-imposed or self-inflicted. Life, including Christian
service, ought to be simple but we complicate it. If we desire
so much the things of the world and if we expend ourselves
in pursuit of these things, if we take on the mind of the
world in our service, then inevitably many undesirable difficulties
when we fail to be yoked with Jesus. Again he says, “Take
my yoke upon you” (v.29a). The yoke is a neck brace
by which two oxen pull the plow. The Christian life, a call
to perfection, is certainly difficult (impossible without
Jesus). But we are not left to our own devices. Jesus, who
tells us how we are to live, also accompanies us, guides us,
helps us, even carries our burden. Jesus is our friend, partner,
when we fail to learn the lessons Jesus is teaching us. He
says, “and learn from me” (v.29b). Trials and
suffering are always salvific. They help to purify us, to
humble us, to make us cling more to God. Instead of complaining,
we should ask Jesus to show us why he allows us to be burdened.
When we are yoked with Jesus, there is a purpose for everything
that happens to us. Suffering and pain give us wisdom and
a clearer direction on our path to heaven.
as we have not yet learned how to be refreshed by the Spirit
of Jesus. He says, “Come to me, all you who labor and
are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (v.28). Jesus
is a hard taskmaster, but he is also a very loving Master.
It is actually he who serves us, who washes our feet, who
gives us himself in the Eucharist. It is he who comforts us
in our affliction. Jesus empathizes with us, and what greater
empathy can come than from one who allowed himself to be crucified
for our sins.
as we have not taken on the mind and heart of Jesus. He says,
“for I am meek and humble of heart” (v.29c). As
we are yoked with Jesus, we look to him and are reminded of
how he bore the wooden crossbeam on his shoulders. Suffering
humbles us, cuts us down in our pride, makes us less self-dependent.
Suffering brings meekness, a strength of character by which
we can endure with patience and without resentment. Jesus
empathizes with us, but we also empathize with Jesus, finally
coming to a realization of his great act of self-sacrifice.
burdened lately? In Jesus “you will find rest for your