Jesus soothes those who are weary and carry heavy burden. To take his yoke and learn from him is to know the Father and find rest and ease.
In wonder, Jesus thanks the Father. For, though Lord of heaven and earth, the Father favors with revelation the little folks. He does not despise them as the wise and the learned do. These put also on others the yoke of the law. That is to say, they lay on others’ shoulders heavy, hard to bear, burdens. But they themselves do not lift a finger to move them.
The wise and the learned refer, yes, to the scribes and the Pharisees. But they can also refer to Christians who make their own the way those who despise them are and act. For we who start with the Spirit can end with the flesh. There is no lack in the community of Christians, for instance, of those who foster divisions. They do so as they think they are above others, more worthy. And as they shame those who are poor.
Indeed, we who are Christians can be self-righteous. We can easily be like the one who shut himself “in the pride of his rigid observance.” And locked up sick in our worries about being saved, sure, certain, clean, we groan under the yoke of obsessions (EG 49).
So, it is crucial for us Christians to be of the little, simple, folks. And this demands that we always go to Jesus and take his yoke upon us and learn from him. To go to him is to know him who calls not the just but sinners, that they may repent. And to grasp that he goes about to do good, to make life more fit and whole for humans. Moreover, to take his yoke and learn from him is to share his work. To giving up the body and shedding blood freely. And, of course, with love that bears all things.
Lord Jesus, meek and humble of heart, let not pride take hold of us. Rather, let the Father’s mercy, which you make known to us, reign in our hearts as we see to it that we take your yoke upon us and bear your burden. Give us your Spirit, so that the true religion, the living faith, of the poor may be ours (SV.EN XI:190).
9 July 2023
14th Sunday in O.T. (A)
Zech 9, 9-10; Rom 8, 9. 11-13; Mt 11, 25-30