A Daily Reflection
by Deacon Kurt Heinrich

Wednesday, June 19th

At that time Jesus exclaimed: "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

"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."

Dear Friends and Family,

The image of a yoke is an interesting choice to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son because a yoke is labor device. It’s a tool that sits on your shoulders and is used to carry heavy burdens. Jesus tells us to take His yoke and learn from him, but for what purpose? When animals are yoked together, it’s the younger animal that learns from the seasoned animal. The older animal takes more of the load as it shows the younger animal what to do and how to lean into the yoke. Jesus is telling us that he will carry our burden and shoulder our load if we walk with him and learn from him. Is there a deeper message or purpose to the image Jesus is using?

“I am meek and humble of heart…you will find rest…my burden is light.” These promises to the poor and marginalized are very attractive. They appeal to us today because many find the struggles of life oppressive and difficult to endure. Jesus’ solution starts with a surrender to God’s will. Jesus tells us that if we want to know his Father, we need to know him. We need to learn from the yoke he carries. Jesus’ yoke is meekness and humility. Meekness means to endure injury with patience and without resentment. Humility means to offer a spirit of deference, not pride nor arrogance. If we walk in this manner, we walk with Jesus and learn from his example. He promises that he will give us rest and show us how to live well. These lessons are hard for the learned, but very simple for the child because children often trust and surrender to the protection of parents. Children enter wholly, totally and completely into this protection. This is how such lessons are grasped. The learned have been hurt before, so we resist a complete surrender. This resistance brings the very pain we wish to avoid. If we fight our Lord’s lead, we make it harder to learn from him and we make it harder on ourselves. Let us pray that today, as we recall the simpler times of our youth, can we enter into that trusting relationship with our loving God, walk beside him, and learn his meek and humble ways.

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