For My Yoke Is Easy & My Burden Light
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Probably few people reading this book have ever plowed a field with a yoke of oxen, churning the soil to prepare it for planting. But everyone has sat in a classroom, writing in notebooks, taking tests, or watching the hands of the clock sweep off the minutes until the bell would ring. In fact, the classroom image is closer to what Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel passage. Consider this other Scripture text, “… gain, at no cost, wisdom for yourselves. Submit your neck to her yoke, that your mind may accept her teaching. For she is close to those who seek her, and the one who is in earnest finds her” (Sir 51:25–26). This text aligns acquiring wisdom with being under a yoke. That image is in the background of Jesus’ saying that his burden is light.
Jesus is inviting us to go to his school, the school of wisdom. Today’s Gospel needs to be read together with yesterday’s, in which Jesus tells us about knowing his Father. Only Jesus reveals the Father to us. That is where wisdom lies. In the school of Jesus, we can learn about what really matters in life. In today’s society, education offers people a boost up the ladder of success. That is surely important to pursue in the business of making a living. But what about making a life?
Jesus offers all of us the knowledge that we need to succeed in making a life. In his school, we can all have scholarships and we can all be honor students. He imparts knowledge freely to anyone who wants it. He teaches us about love. He’ll ask us to ponder questions like this: at the end of life, how will we see the times we made selfish choices, and the times that we sacrificed ourselves for someone else? On the balance scales of life, love outweighs everything else. Jesus the Teacher will help us tip the scales in the right direction.
Jesus, you are the Teacher of truth, Wisdom incarnate. Teach me to value what really matters in life. Don’t let me get so caught up in pursuing other things that I forget that love is what counts most. Help me to build up my family relationships and pay attention to the needs of the people around me.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 264–265). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.