MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT 
(A biblical reflection on the 14th Ordinary Sunday, 6 July 2014)
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:25-30
First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10; Psalms: Psalm 145:1-2,8-11,13-14, Second Reading: Romans 8:9,11-13
The Scripture Text
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was Thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30 RSV)
It may seem hard to imagine that Jesus was a childlike as He encouraged His disciples to be – but He was. We must remember that being childlike does not mean being childish. It means being completely dependent on one’s parents – as completely as Jesus depended on His Father.
Consider the brief prayer Jesus offered before He raised Lazarus from the dead. Standing outside the tomb, He simply said, “Father I thank You for having heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me.” Then He called out to Lazarus, and Lazarus returned to life (John 11:41-44). Consider also Jesus’ agonized prayer in Gethsemane just before He was arrested. Although His suffering was so great that His sweat “became like great drops of blood” He prayed the simplest and humblest of all prayers: “Father …… not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:39-44).
In each case, the message is simple: Trust in God today just as Jesus did and He will work more powerfully than You can imagine. It begins with humility. As we abandon all the “grown-up ways of thinking we have taken on, our minds will be transformed and renewed by the peace and presence of God.
It is indeed through faith that we are justified before God, but it is in “putting our faith into practice” that we learn what it means to be children of God. To live every day in a way that pleases God is not always easy, but it is essential if we want to come to know God as our Father. Jesus knew the battle before Him every day was not easy, but He also knew that His Father’s love for Him was even stronger. Just as Jesus was strengthened every day as He turned to the Father in trust, we too will find God’s strength as we come to Him with childlike simplicity.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. Empower me today with Your Holy Spirit. May the Spirit who dwells in You dwell also in me, and lead me to love and trust the Father as You did. Amen.
Jakarta, 5 July 2014
A Christian Pilgrim