REFLECTION | ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light’

July 9, 2017 - 6:00 AM
Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

On that occasion, Jesus said “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise you; because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father this was your gracious will.

“Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
—Matthew 11:25-30

There are a lot of inevitable givens in life, including suffering, pain, unfairness, disloyalty, infidelity, and so on and so forth. We find explanations in some of these situations but find none in others.

When we experience sufferings and pains, we look for answers. Others people seek and ask God why He allowed bad things to happen to them.

While others turn to God for relief and refuge, some distance from God. It is very essential for us to see and know God and see Him as our protector and comforter. A God who listens to us when we call on him; who shows mercy and compassion when we are in despair; and who gives strength when we are tired.

Truly, He is our only hope, our salvation. That is why we have to know our God and establish a good relationship with Him through prayer and service for others.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is sent by God who is the Father of Jesus so that everything will come into fulfillment. The promise of salvation of the Father is completed in Jesus Christ. The Father has entrusted everyone and everything to Jesus and by hi coming, our severed relationship with God is now restored. That is why we have now have life in God. Jesus is the embodiment of the Trinitarian God who became flesh and lived among us. Through Jesus, the love of God has been manifested concretely among his disciples and to the world. His dying and rising from the dead had summarized it all the love of God in its maxim.

Following the Lord Jesus Christ does not guarantee that there will be no more suffering, pain, and injustice. Unless everyone is transformed in the Lord, people will always cause other peoples’ sufferings and pains. This is why following the Lord means taking one’s yoke and expecting that life will be burdensome—but there will be rest.

The Lord will give us rest so we can carry on with life. Let us listen to the Word and do the will of the Father for this is the right thing to do.

Jesus’ disciples became God’s messengers of God for he has revealed himself to them. Today’s reading inspires the faithful to make life decisions according to His will and everything will be alright. For those who will follow the Lord Jesus will also take the road Jesus had taken. As baptized Christians, we shall experience what the Lord Jesus had undergone.

The gospel reading is not just a reminder to Jesus’ disciples but more so an exhortation to all of us today, to us who are the followers of Jesus. When we follow the Lord Jesus, we must dedicate ourselves to following His footsteps, for only through Jesus can we see the Father and will the Spirit animate us all through.

To follow the Lord means we accept His very words to His disciples: “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.” There is still a yoke and burden to carry although it is light (or even lighter). We carry our yoke and burden trusting in the Lord’s heart of gentleness, meekness, and humility as we carry it in Him and with Him.

Life is not always easy and light. It is full of trials and tests. There are issues and concerns within every family and community that have caused our fears and uncertainties, anxieties and disbeliefs.

But life is not that hard after all when we trust in God and rest in Him, for only in the Lord can we truly find rest. Amidst suffering and pain, we follow the Lord and take the yoke and learn from Him. Our lives will be light and easy because we keep his Word and live by it. When we follow the Lord, life will be lighter as God lives in us.

Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:

Do I enjoy the mercy and love of God for me?

In following the Lord, do I feel safe in Him?

In times of pain, suffering and anxiety, do I put my total trust I the Lord?

When tired, down and confused, do I find rest and solace in his loving heart?

Do I trust the Lord at all times? Do I love the Lord at all times?

Almighty and Ever-living God, we rest in you. We put and entrust our very lives into your hands. Rescue us from the snares of evil and save us from sinfulness and destruction. We trust you Lord for your love and mercy is without end. We go to you in jumble supplication and beg for your mercy and love for us unworthy of your grace but we find our rest in you and in you alone. This we ask through Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray for those whom we had promised to pray for; for peace in Marawi, in our country, and all over the world. Let us also pray for those who are weary and find life burdensome; those who are restless and suffering in whatever form. May God touch their hearts so they can find God’s saving Word and hopeful will, and may consoling peace be their redemption.