Further reflections on Matthew 11:28-30

After sharing my meditations on Matthew 11:28-30 with some sisters last week, my mind continued to linger on the passage and more thoughts emerged.

[Jesus speaking] 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 in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 10:28-30

Jesus calls us to take His yoke, one that is easy, and He will share the weight of our burdens. Yet that might not be the desire of those who seek divine help. More often than not, we just want God to take away our burden entirely, so that we don’t have to continue to bear and suffer its weight, even if this burden is made much lighter with the yoke. Hence, one may become frustrated when the problem doesn’t go away immediately even after turning to Jesus. But that has never been His promise. Perhaps we go to Jesus with unrealistic expectations, when we expect to have no more burdens after our prayers?

Jesus calls us to share His yoke, yet not everyone wants to be yoked with Jesus. To be yoked with someone means that we have to keep pace with him/her. If the yoke is unequal, the partnership is most ineffective because its bond is tight and restrictive to each other. In the end, the two are just immobilised. Maybe not everyone wants to be yoked with Jesus because He doesn’t go where one wants to go. Or maybe His pace is too fast or too slow for us. When yoked with Jesus, one could try to take the lead or set the pace instead, but seriously, what good would that do? If one could manage his/her burden in the first place, would he or she have gone to Jesus to seek rest? Then what good is it to try to take the lead when yoked with Jesus? Perhaps that’s why Jesus says, Learn from Me. We need to cease our striving and learn to be gentle and humble in heart like Him, so that we can trust His leading, and have faith that His direction and speed is the best for each one of  us.

To be yoked with Jesus is to be with Him and to be like Him.

An edited version of this article appeared in ymiblogging.org here.

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