Daily Reflection
July 20th, 2000
Tom Schloemer, S.J.
Career and Academic Planning
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Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
Psalms 102:13-21
Matthew 11:28-30

Three verses can say a lot . . .  The themes of the importance of Jesus and rejection of him begin in the missionary discourse in Matthew and continue in chapters 11 and 12.  In verses 28-30, Jesus extends an invitation to discipleship in terms of the law and its interpretation.

Jesus uses the traditional image of the law as a “yoke.”  Jewish religious law with its many prescriptions had become burdensome.  Now Jesus speaks about his yoke being easy and his burden light.  Is he kidding?  Not really.  For Jesus, the whole of the law was contained in the Great Commandment, namely, love of God, others, self.  The underlying principle in love of others is the conviction that each person is precious.

The yoke and burden of Jesus are an inevitable part of life.  Their weight is not the issue but how we bear them.  I think of a couple in their senior years.  Let’s call them Mary and George.  George is basically bedridden, his body having been racked with cancer and his mind losing awareness.  Mary has chosen to care for George, with some nursing assistance, at home.  There are financial means to do otherwise, but this is Mary’s choice.  Her love and care for George can only be described as heroic.  How does Mary bear her yoke and burden?  One would think, upon meeting Mary and experiencing her infectious cheerfulness, that she and George are having the time of their lives.  Owing to the depth and beauty of their love for each other, they truly are.

Jesus is not kidding us.  Our yoke and burden can be easy and light if only we are loving of God, others, self.  There is no other way.  Three verses can say a lot . . .


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