At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In rural Tanzania, where I once lived, I regularly saw yoked oxen. Two things regularly struck me. First the cruelty of the “driver,” who constantly struck them with a stick to keep them moving. Second, that they were also at the mercy of the ox with whom they were paired – the only thing that made them a “team” was the yoke. If one ox decided to bolt, by necessity the other had to go along – and it often did not end well for either. Jesus doesn’t force his yoke upon us; he invites us to take it. And it’s his yoke that he shares. Yoked to Jesus, he directs us only to those places where he can show us God’s glory and experience God’s love.
—Fr. Martin Connell, SJ is Professor of Education at John Carroll University and Rector of the John Carroll University Jesuit community.
I want to unite my life to your life,
my thoughts to your thoughts,
my affections to your affections,
my heart to your heart,
my works to your works,
my whole self to your self,
in order to become through this union
more holy and more pleasing in the sight of your Father
and in order to make my life
more worthy of your grace
and of the reward of eternity.
—Jean-Pierre Médaille, SJ, excerpted from Jesus, Join My Life in Yours, published in Hearts on Fire