Vugt: Take my yoke upon yo

THE Gospel of Matthew says: Come to me, all you who work hard and who carry heavy burdens, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest. For my yoke is good, and my burden is light.

Jesus’ prayer impressed the disciples. In this text it is a short prayer, prompted by the most recent events; events and daily life are also a source of prayer.

You have hidden these things. Intelligent people are not excluded from the faith, of course, but it is the glory of God that faith should not seem to be the privilege of the wise and the intelligent; human wisdom never gives what is essential and often hides it. There were in Palestine at the time some wise people and many others who pretended to be so, but they were rarely seen among the disciples of Jesus.

Everything has been entrusted to me. God does what is needed for people to have always and in all places thousands of ways of knowing him. In this life it is only through Jesus that we have the revelation of the Father.

Must we translate “learn from me for I am…”? The humility of Jesus reveals to us the humility of God who never seeks to put us down or intimate us, but instead always wants us to raise us to him. Such humility does not prevent him from being God, and he may exact everything from us because he does not use external force: his influence reaches to the depths of our heart. See Luke 10:21.

Come to me: I will not relieve you of your load but by placing my yoke on you, I give you the means of carrying the load.

Jesus plays with the two words yoke and load, for the Jews used to call “load” used to call “load” the divine teachings imparted to pupils, and yoke the balancing of the teacher’s sentences, which should be learnt by heart.

Jesus, the patient and humble teacher, enables us to see the mercy of God in our lives and in our own cross. He shows us the love of God even in the requirements of the Law. Only God is Good, and good is the authority of Christ.

God hides himself out of love for us, so that we would be ever more able to get our eyes used to the sharp neon light of this world.

On another note – How to be perfect. Christmas is the time of the year when the pressure to be perfect intensifies. We imagine the perfect celebration and then put forth our best effort to make it happen. We shop for the perfect gifts. We plan the perfect Christmas Day meal. We choose the perfect greeting cards or write the perfect family letter. But our striving leads to discouragement and disappointment when our ability to imagine perfection exceeds our ability to implement it. The carefully chosen gift receives only a halfhearted thank you.

Personally, I believe, we in the Philippines start celebrating Christmas long before it is Christmas. When Christmas is there, people are tired and they stop celebrating Christmas.

(For your comment email: nolvanvugt@gmail.com)

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