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Yoked to Jesus

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

Today's passage from St. Matthew's Gospel is not only a favorite of mine but of many. It is frequently used at funerals, especially at the funeral of a person who has endured some hardship in life. It speaks of finding rest in Jesus, the meek and humble servant of God.

The allusion in this passage that appeals to me is that of the yoke. "My yoke is easy and my burden light." We all know what a yoke is, but it is not something that we think of too often in modern life. However, if we stop to take into consideration one small fact, it becomes crystal clear what Jesus is saying. That fact is this: a yoke is used to join two animals together so that they can work as one. Before the days of tractors and trucks, draft animals were used to plow our fields and to pull our wagons. A pair of oxen or a team of horses were the source of power for many a farmer or carter.

Now apply that notion to ourselves. Jesus tells us that we are yoked to him. While we may be weak and feel that we are not up to the task, with the strength of Jesus paired to ours, we can, as St. Paul reminds us, accomplish anything that is set before us. This thought can keep us going even in the most daunting circumstances.

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