"*Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, +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 11:28-30 (NRSV version)
THIS IS THE GOSPEL READING FOR TODAY, second Wednesday of Advent in the Catholic liturgical year. It's also the gospel reading for every 15th Thursdays in Ordinary Time and the feastday of St Francis of Assisi on October 4. It's also the message that i received in May after a few days of intense prayer (Meek and Humble of Heart). Why? Why? Why?
Scriptural concordances from the USCCB online NAB bible and scripture passages from the oremus Bible Browser, an online NRSV bible:
*"They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them." -- Matthew 23:4
+"Draw near to me, you who are uneducated, and lodge in the house of instruction. Why do you say you are lacking in these things, and why do you endure such great thirst? I opened my mouth and said, Acquire wisdom for yourselves without money. Put your neck under her yoke, and let your souls receive instruction; it is to be found close by. See with your own eyes that I have laboured but little and found for myself much serenity. Hear but a little of my instruction, and through me you will acquire silver and gold." -- Sirach 51:23-28
^'Thus says the LORD: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk in it." ' -- Jeremiah 6:16
^"He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." -- Isaiah 40:29-31
The Disciples' Rest
"Put down that crushing load that will only exhaust you and make you weary. Learn from me, learn from my example. Take my yoke; it's easy. I'm in it with you, and my burden is light. I will give you rest, and you will find daily rest (wholeness, confidence, trust and peace) that comes from being my disciple."
Turn to Jesus, Give up control, Learn to live like Jesus
' "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Jesus says, "My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work." (John 4:34 ) and "For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)
Why the Yoke?
'...when I used to read this verse, I would think, "Give me a break! The last thing that I need is another yoke."
'A yoke is a wooden beam that attaches two farm animals together to lighten the load so they can work together as a team. When the yoke is in place the burden is shared and the load is lightened. The purpose of a yoke is to make it easier for the animal. They can carry more because they are working together... Therefore J was saying that he wants to be our PARTNER.
'When two animals are yoked together, they're [also] under the CONTROL of one farmer. When you're yoked to Jesus, the load is lighter, but you give up control (eg. passenger on my motorcycle). Moving together in the same direction at the same PACE. Galatians 5:25: "If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives." You do that by letting Jesus set the pace.'
The Japanese paraphrase of Psalm 23 goes like this:
The Lord is my pacesetter, I shall not rush.
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness,
which restore my serenity.
He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind
and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish this day
I will not fret for His presence is here.
His timeless all importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares a refreshment and renewal in the presence of my activity
by anointing my mind with His oil of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruit of my hours
for I shall walk in the pace of my Lord forever.