As human beings, we often get distracted, frustrated or even angry over many things, especially small things, those fruitless cares that are beyond our control. We stew over them, but often never resolve them. These fester and the cycle repeats. Ambitious desires also cause anxiety when we fail to achieve them. In the Gospel reading, Jesus is very direct. In colloquial terminology, He tells us to “not sweat the small stuff” nor put ourselves on pedestals, but to focus on what is truly important. His yoke is easy to bear because it is the Father’s Will. Our yokes are difficult to bear when they are “our will.”
Despite Jesus’ invitation to come to Him for help with our burdens, so many people are silently carrying their burdens alone. Sometimes pride and self-sufficiency get in the way. At other times, there may be the feeling that there is simply no one to lend a helping hand. The current climate seems to dictate otherwise. During the darkest, deadliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic in northern Italy, medical professionals and volunteers were "silent artisans of a culture of closeness and tenderness, a culture that cannot be allowed to disappear,” Pope Francis said.
It is with the same closeness and tenderness that Jesus reaches out to us at each moment. Do we have the faith and trust of a little child to seek our consolation in Him? That’s what brings us authentic peace and joy. The world has become a dark, scary place. However, Jesus still makes perfect, well-fitting yokes, which don’t pinch or weigh us down. When God sends us opportunities, they are made to exactly fit our needs and our abilities. When we take on His yoke, we serve Him willingly and enthusiastically from a heart of full of gratitude and love. His yoke is not burdensome. It is grace-filled, carefully measured and expertly hewn.
Sister Marcella Louise Wallowicz CSFN