Thursday, July 16, 2020

Thursday, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time 2020

Our Gospel today (Mt 11:28-30) can be a bit perplexing.  On the one hand, it is wonderful to be called by the Lord and hear that he will give us rest.  On the other hand, when I think of Jesus' yoke, his burdens, I would not describe them as easy and light.  I frequently imagine the cross as Jesus' yoke.  His burdens, well those would be our sins.  You see what I mean?

But if we put what Jesus is saying in context of Mosiac law and how the scribes and Pharisees enforced those laws, we open ourselves up to understanding how Jesus' yoke and burdens are easy and light in comparison.  With over 600 ritual and spiritual laws, and an army of enforcers, living a faithful was onerous, to say the least.  

Jesus boils it all down into two commandments; love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Certainly, living out the love for God has its own challenges, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned and so forth.  Yet if we go to Jesus and share the burdens with him through his yoke, the effort will be lighter than if we tried to do it on our own.

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