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Take My Yoke Upon Your Shoulders

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

“Take my yoke upon your shoulders ... for my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Doesn’t always seem light and easy to live a Christian life, does it? Maybe that’s because we try to do it on our own.

You know what a yoke is. Maybe you haven’t seen one as you go driving along a country road, but you certainly have seen them in pictures, movies, and TV commercials - oxen yoked together pulling a plow or a wagon.

As it says in the dictionary, “a yoke is a wooden framework for harnessing together oxen, mules, carabaos or other draft animals consisting of a cross bar with two U-shaped pieces that encircle the necks of the animals.” Sometimes we might see just one animal doing the pulling. At other times, two or more.

When Jesus talks about us taking up his yoke, he is not talking about our doing it alone. We are to be yoked with Jesus, and together with him we are to pull the loads of our lives.

Our trouble comes when we try to solve all our problems, carry out all our work, and face all our troubles by ourselves. “No, don’t do that,” says Jesus. “Let me help you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders,” Jesus says. “Hitch yourself up to me and my wagon. Together we can lick the world.”

You will find life gentler and easier and lighter only when you work at it with Christ. Never even think of pulling any loads all by yourself.

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