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Take His Yoke

Last week, I encouraged us all to “get dirty” with the work of being disciples of Jesus. This week, Jesus invites us even more to take his yoke upon our shoulders and learn from Him.

A yoke is a harness fit around the neck and shoulders of an animal to tow and guide farm equipment. The animal “yoked” was under the instruction of the farmer for a purpose: to plow the fields, plant the crops, and produce a harvest.

Similarly, Jesus is inviting us to submit to him to lead and guide us. We can get a lot of work done that way together: praying together; raising our families together; staying faithful to each other together; forgiving each other together; caring for the poor and neglected together; and even suffering, dying, and rising together!

But how can the work of bearing this “yoke” leave us restful, as He said in this Gospel? How often do you — after a hard day’s work — feel really well-rested?

Jesus is inviting us to something deeper. If we join Him, we will be free, and through that freedom, we will have rest for our souls. This doesn’t mean that we will never get annoyed or angry but rather, those normal human emotions will not destroy the peace we experience with Jesus.

When we know that He is by our side, carrying the yoke with us, we can trust Him, even when the day is long and the work is hard. Even the yoke on our shoulders will feel lighter the more we love the One who is carrying it by our side.

That’s what make the yoke “easy” and the burden “light” — love Jesus! Jesus loves you! He is right by your side, working with you!

Fr. Mark Zacker


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