“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30
Lately this passage has been on my mind. That’s because I haven’t been devoting enough quality time for prayer. I need to come to Him because anxieties, idle cares and desires—and sins are burdensome to me, weighing me down.
His burden, His yoke is where I’ll find rest from mine.
A yoke is a wooden bar fastened around plowing oxen. A yoke is for two. Christ’s yoke is light–He picks up one side, we pick up the other.
Everything is so much easier if done through, with and in the One who makes all things possible. And when we unite our sufferings to His, we are carrying the Cross with Him, or rather, He is carrying us.
This passage “happens to be” today’s Gospel Reading at Mass. Also at today’s Mass:
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, `What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'”
God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt;
and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Per’izzites, the Hivites, and the Jeb’usites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”‘
And they will hearken to your voice; and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, `The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, we pray you, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’
I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.
So I will stretch out my hand and smite Egypt with all the wonders which I will do in it; after that he will let you go.
– Exodus 3:13-20
In the Reading, God wants to liberate the Israelites from the yoke of slavery. The liberation from Egypt points to liberation from sin—oppression of the worst kind. Moses, trying to make excuses, asks God “who shall I say sent me?” The Lord God responds with His Sacred Name “I AM”.
“I AM”. He is He Who IS. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of the Name: God is the fullness of Being and of every perfection, without origin and without end. All creatures receive all that they are and have from him; but he alone is his very being, and he is of himself everything that he is. (#213)
God will go with us always—it’ll be Him, not us. We need to give our burdens to Him and pick up His.