Gospel Reflections

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 11:25-30

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Nancy Rowen

Published: July 09, 2017

TITLE: The Yoking Method for Life.

The instructions are clear and direct. “Come to me…. Take my yoke….. Learn from me.”  Is this an invitation to rewarding discipleship, or guidelines for close friendships, or both?

How does one learn to be more like Christ? How could Jesus while on earth become so visibly like his Father God? The yoking method gives us some insight.

In life as in sports, what we practice becomes a habit. Some animal trainers find yoking an effective method.  It involves putting two together, patterning the trainee until it has the needed knowledge and skills in its muscle memory.  Regular drill and review are expected. Being linked with the other is essential.

Jesus offers his disciples this successful way of becoming one in mind and heart with him.  Staying connected, gradually learning to look at what we need to face with a greater love. We often discover we have developed a deeper patience or willingness to hang in with a difficult person or circumstance.

Over our lifetime, we humans find ourselves in many supportive and encouraging relationships. God has blessed us with one another: parents raising children, teachers educating the next generations, coaches guiding players… and also, good friends and inspiring colleagues...so many formative influences on our personal development. Not left alone, we are accompanied and guided along life’s journey.  

The other day my friend, Marie told me how as a young professional, she was part of a management team.  Catherine, a brilliant woman with more experience, was the Team Leader.  “She was the most inclusive person I’ve ever known.  She taught me how to work with people.”

Whose influence has helped or enhanced the person you have become? For whom have you been that gift?

Whether learning to be a disciple of Jesus, or a good friend to someone, the instructions are the same. Yoking involves spending time with the person we admire and staying connected, sharing our hearts especially when feeling the weight of some burden and paying attention.

Especially in hard times like ours, it is good to maintain our yoking practices. Living this way, we will find life lighter and will know ourselves deeply blessed.



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