In our gospel selection for today,
Jesus tells us to "…take MY yoke
upon you." I wonder what he is trying to tell us. Does He mean we do not have
to carry our burdens alone? Could it be that if we hook up with Jesus, we are
free to let ourselves be led by His loving spirit? Are our vocations truly
light, and as Jesus assures us, easy? I believe the answer is yes to all the
I’ve not always found this to be so
however. I used to think my yoke was to have all the answers, and to straighten
out anyone and everyone who seemed to be straying from their given tasks. As a
teacher this was what they told me to do, or so I thought: to control my class
and to make sure each of my students was learning.
After trying this way for a while,
I quickly learned that thinking I was in control of my students was pure
fantasy. I could no more control their learning or behavior than I could assure
them if they did what I told them to do, they would end up successful millionaires
and social butterflies. I learned that if I would be an effective influence in
my students’ lives, I could only witness to the great things that happen in my
life when I meekly and humbly yoke myself to my higher power, my God, who
promises me that His yoke is easy, and His burden light. Yes, that probably
means doing Math and English homework, coming to school on time…but maybe not.
Thank you Jesus for assuring us
that all we need do is yoke ourselves to you by being meek and humble of heart.
Dan O’Donnell is a
Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.