The readings today are 2 Chronicles 32 and Matthew 10:1-20.
I am focussing on the Matthew reading. In this reading there is a description of a job that nobody wants. Who wants to work as a sheep among wolves? (10:16). Who wants to be handed over to local councils to be flogged? (v.18). Who wants family conflict? (v.21). Who wants to be hated? (v.22). Who wants to be persecuted? (v.23).
Going beyond today’s readings a little…..it is fine to say things like, all this happend to Jesus first (vs.24-25). And…it’s not too bad….they can only kill the body, can’t they? (v.28). But no matter how you look at it, this business of being a disciple doesn’t look all that attractive. Try putting an ad like that in the Mercury, and see how many applications you get.
But then there is something that makes sense. But it doesn’t come until the end of Chapter 11. Jesus adds something that makes it all worthwhile. He invites us, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” (11:29). The yoke which rested on the shoulders of oxen hitched to a plow, was used to distribute the burden of work. The oxen pulled together, and neither was overwhelmed.
Being yoked to Jesus doesn’t so much mean that we take on His burdens, but the He, pulling alongside us, takes on ours. Yes, it’s tough to be a disciple. It’s a challenging and disciplined life. Yet the disciple by the very fact of his commitment is yoked to Jesus. And in the relationship, with Jesus taking on most of the load, we find not added burdens but an amazing inner rest.
Despite all appearances, the disciple of Jesus knows the truth. Jesus’ “yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Think about these words written by St. Augustine, “I have read in Plato and Cicero saying that are wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: ‘Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden…and I will give you rest'”
Have a great day,