Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Sunday Word

Getting ready for the Fourth of July? It's on everybody's mind, but even more important is preparing to hear the Word this Sunday at Mass.

Make some time before you go to Church this weekend to read over the Scriptures you'll hear proclaimed at Mass. The Gospel selection from St. Matthew encourages us to take Christ's yoke. Last year at this time, Father Garrett preached and to illustrate he asked if anyone had seen a yoke. Amazingly, not a single "New Yorker" had ever set their eyes on a yolk. To our amazement he produced a "home-made" yoke and had two student demontrate its use.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Benedict XVI spoke this week about the yoke of Christ on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul when he said,

" Christ’s yoke is identical with his friendship. It is a yoke of friendship and therefore “a sweet yoke”, but as such it is also a demanding yoke, one that forms us. It is the yoke of his will, which is a will of truth and love. For us, then, it is first and foremost the yoke of leading others to friendship with Christ and being available to others, caring for them as shepherds."

Jesus' yoke--though "easy" and the burden "light"--nonetheless gives us direction and purpose for our lives. We no longer need to create and re-create ourselves--we are now being gently re-sculpted into Christ's likeness."

There is freedom in being yoked to a single focus and direction through Christ. Ever notice how those who have genuinely yoked their lives to Jesus don't seem to think they are "missing out" on anything? The perfect freedom and fulfillment that come from a life lived in Jesus' "rest" allow disciples of Christ to look down all life's other torturously twisting side roads, speed traps and dead-end routes and affirm with a shake of our heads--"no thanks--been there, done that."