July 09, 2017
“Come to me.” It is an invitation from Jesus directed to “little ones” – disciples who are tired and burdened. The only way we can receive and respond to the invitation of Jesus is by the Holy Spirit. St. Paul writes to the Church at Rome that the Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us. Prophet Zechariah, speaking for the Lord, says: “See your king shall come to you…” God will banish the weapons of war (chariot, horse and the warrior’s bow) and then the King will proclaim peace and establish dominion. Jesus is coming to us and we are being drawn to him with a promise of rest. This is “Sabbath rest” that restores our tired bodies and minds from the drudgery of daily existence. But with the promise of rest there is also a condition that is troubling: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.”
What is the “yoke” that Jesus wishes to set on our shoulders? Is it another burden to bear? Or is it the recognition that we are not carrying the load ourselves. Our Book Club just finished: Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck that chronicles a contemporary crossing of America in a covered wagon following the famed Oregon Trail. Rinker, his brother Nick and his dog Olive Oil travel from the Mississippi River to Oregon. It was team effort for Rinker and Nick – one holding the reins and the other applying the brakes. And the team of mules: Jake (a Johnny) and Bute & Beck (the Mollies)! Each mule had a different personality and unique ability suited for challenges of the long overland journey.
Taking on the “yoke of Jesus” that is fashioned to fit our shoulders, enables us to carry heavy loads teamed with Jesus. Humility and meekness are needed to dispel the illusion that we can go it alone. Amazingly, with Jesus, the labor is lessened and the burdened lifted.
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