July 9, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, The Yoke: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Our Gospel today is the same Gospel for the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 15). “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart: for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” These words might bring protest from us! Any of us who has tried to be a faithful disciple of Jesus the Christ knows it isn’t easy. It wasn’t in Jesus’ day, and it isn’t in ours. The image of a yoke, however, includes the ideas of both of shared work (burden) and of tilling the fields. The yoke of the oxen can be single, with the farmer walking behind, or double like this one pictured here. A double yoke helps us imagine God and us pulling together, together doing Jesus’ work of seeding the world with seeds that produce eternal life, instead of producing the turmoil and the many world crises we all can name. This Gospel passage from Matthew is as tender as Matthew gets! He is trying to convey the “heart” bonds between Jesus and his disciples. The disciples, not the “wise and learned,” are the “little ones” who have been privileged to receive the Lord’s teachings. They are the ones entrusted with all things the Father entrusted to Jesus. We don’t have to do the “heavy lifting” of tilling the field alone. And our work, our “taking up of the yoke,” does not need to be difficult or significant in the eyes of the world. Most of us are just ordinary people, “little people,” so it’s more like St. Mother Teresa said — doing little things with great love. Look ahead at the next hours of life and pick out one or two things you can do with more consciousness of the Lord “yoked” with you and helping you love more greatly!

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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