Lord, keep me focus on You and You alone
14th Week in Ordinary Time : Sunday 9th July 2023
Zec. 9:9-10; Ps. 144:1-2,8-9,10-11,13-14;
Rom. 8:9,11-13; Mt. 11:25-30 (Ps. Wk. II )
In ancient agrarian societies, a yoke, a wooden bar fastened on the neck of an animal, eases the work of pulling loads and ploughing. When two animals are used, they are yoked side by side, usually, one more experienced and stable, with a younger one. The imagery of a yoke is fittingly used in today’s Gospel to describe the relationship between those who trust and serve Him. To be yoked to Christ is to submit to His authority and allow His hand to be on the plough to lead us. In doing so, we place ourselves under His care and safety; we work in His field, not our own. We discover true freedom, restfulness, and peace in carrying out His will. How so? “My yoke is easy and my burden light….” He is pulling beside us, balancing our load (burdens) and taking over so that we can rest when we are tired. We do not follow a legalistic taskmaster but He, the ‘gentle and humble of heart.’
It is possible to do God’s work with great zeal even when yoked to ourselves, but that might lead to pride and self-glorification. Yoking to Christ tills our hearts with the right motivations for labouring in humble service to Him for His greater glory, not ours.
How much of our Christian service results from taking up Christ’s yoke, and how much comes from being yoked to our desires or others?
“Shoulder My yoke and learn from Me…” Dear Lord, may I take Your yoke upon me to fulfil the mission You entrusted me with.