July 9, 2023
Matthew 11: 25-30
The song “Come As You Are” by Paul Gurr was very popular a few years back. It contains lyrics taken from the beautiful invitation in the reading from Matthew’s gospel that we have in today’s liturgy.
There is in Matthew’s gospel and in the song an invitation offered with great tenderness by Jesus to his followers to be with him just as they. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
We notice that all is God’s initiative, God is present to us, loving us, noticing our struggles, our pain and our weariness. God touches the burdens that weigh us down and promises us relief and rest. His words are starkly invitational and tender. I am gentle and humble of heart. My yoke is easy and my burden light.
Jesus’ message is so consonant with God’s revelation in the OT and very different from the religion of the Pharisees.
He simply says, “Come to me, to me a person, to my Abba.” I want to be in a relationship with you at all times. I want to be yoked to you. To be together always. I want to be bound to you. In that closeness, you will learn from me. You will watch me as I approach people with tenderness and humility. You will come to know that that is how God is with you.
My yoke is easy and my burden light. Instead of the 616 laws of the OT, I offer you just two. Love God and love one another.
Has my life become one that is yoke with Jesus? Do I live in that closeness at all times, daily learning from Him as my life unfolds and do I notice how He responds to situations. Am I learning more of who God is? Do I touch His gentleness and humility and do I desire to grow in those virtues. St. Teresa of Avila used to say that she experienced God looking at her lovingly and humbly. That is how He looks at each of us always.
Do I feel the yoke of the two great commandments? Am I reminded in my proximity to Jesus in the Yoke of the love that is freely given and in which we live and move and have our being. Our loving is simply participating in the love that is already given and living that love in all relationships.
Sit often in the Yoke. Take the image to prayer. Where does that prayer take us?
Matt. 12: 25-30
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you who labor 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.”