If you think we live in turbulent times, read the biography of
St. Bonventure online [http://www.nd.edu/Departments/Maritain/etext/bonavent.htm],
whose feast we celebrate today.
At the young age of 36, Bonaventure was elected as the Minister General
of the Friars Minor, and did much to resolve the bitter disputes in his order
between the Relaxti and the Spiritualists of his order. Later he distinguished
himself in Paris as a theologian, philosopher and a mystic. He influenced
the thinking of his good friend St. Thomas of Aquinas, and brought his
wisdom to Church's councils. We would do well to seek his intercession
The Gospel today has Jesus saying "My yoke is easy, my burden light."
It's helpful to recall that in rabbinical literature the Law was often
referred to as a 'yoke,' the wooden, double U-shaped device that hooks
two beasts of burden together. Jesus railed against the pharisees
and scribes who imposed the burden of the law upon people with their strict
interpretations. It's easy to understand why the Law was a 'yoke' or heavy
The 'yoke' Jesus asks us to take on is the Kingdom of God. And
once we accept the reign of God in our lives, we live with the realization
that God is Our Father, and all men and women are our brothers and sisters.
Our obligation as a son or daughter of God to love one another as He has
loved us. That truly is a light burden.
Our life's burdens are lighter because we know we can ask the Spirit
to intervene. There is no burden in life that we can't handle with God's
help. As Paul says,
If God is for us, who is against us? . . . Who shall
separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or
persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . .
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from
the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So truly, His burden is light. Let us pray that we can can assume the
'yoke' of his Kingdom, and work to bring it about.