“Come to me, all you who labour 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.”
Jesus invites us to rest, then suggests that taking up his yoke is the best way for us to rest.
Too often we think of rest as the absence of work or activity. In fact real rest is found when we relax into right-relationship with God, even in the midst of the activity and demands of challenging days.
In my personal experience whole-hearted Christian living is the most effective way of lightening the loads of life.
Living in harmony with Jesus is therefore the most joy-filled way to live.
When I grasp at alternative offerings, (all of which promise much and deliver little or nothing), it’s then that I run into problems and feel really burdened.
In a rural parish a couple of years ago when this gospel was read older parishioners explained after Mass that the yoke is a wooden crosspiece that joins the two (or more) oxen in harness so that they can share the weight of the plough or cart that they are to pull.
One parishioner said that whenever she feels burdened she imagines that she is yoked to Jesus and that he (being stronger than her) is happy to pull most of the weight, and she can relax knowing that she has great and strong company with Him alongside her.
Then I had a conversation with a group of parishioners who were sharing the joy of feeling “yoked together” as people of faith, so that if one of them was feeling a bit weak, the rest of the team could pick up the burden enabling them all to stay together.
Let’s get yoked and stay yoked.