The yoke of Jesus

Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.

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Mt 12,24-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

Not infrequently, people suffer from a heavy burden, a burden they can hardly bear, and this burden makes their whole life joyless. Their feelings are determined by it, they wake up with it in the morning and spend the whole day trying to keep their heads above water.

These are not just the burdens that are growing on us from this life on earth, that are on our conscience because of our guilt, or because of illness, family problems, etc.

They can also be inner burdens that come from life history, heavy experiences in childhood that have never been properly processed, and some things that are not in our consciousness at all, but which are still effective in our inner being and cause the soul to be restless.

This word of the Lord is especially addressed to all those who suffer from heavy burdens. He wants all of them to come to him, to entrust themselves to him in their needs, to open up these needs to him, including inner distress, the causes of which we do not know.

It is the merciful look of the Lord that looks at us in our spiritual, moral, mental and physical misery. In a way, he offers us an exchange: “Take my yoke upon you, and I will take yours!”

What could be the Lord’s yoke? He adds: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

In order to bear the gentle yoke of the Lord, it is necessary to walk in the most intimate union with Him and to let Him understand and shape our lives.

Under his yoke we must discover that God turns everything that happens to us – even the injustices of other people that we suffer or have suffered – to good.

Under His yoke we learn to listen to God and not to fall into the traps of our own lives.   His yoke will teach us the good, it will comfort us in our distress, but perhaps it will also show us that there are people who still suffer from a greater need.   Jesus’ yoke will teach us to seek and live the will of the Father and make us understand His infinite affection for us.

His yoke will let the love grow in us, and it is this love that makes the burden light and does not let the yoke of the Lord become oppressive!   Just as Jesus bore our sins, He will also take care of the burdens of our lives and make them lighter!


When I look at all that I have now written, I want to say: His gentle yoke is the Holy Spirit whom He has sent us.


Let us recall some passages of the Pentecost Sequence:


“Come, who loves all the poor!”


or: “You breathe coolness in heat!”


And even more clearly: “You give comfort in suffering and death!”


or: “Fill up heart and face, penetrate to the bottom of the soul!”


And: “What is stained, wash clean, pour life into the dry, you heal where sickness tortures!”


It is the whole Sequence of Pentecost that makes the yoke of Jesus speaking for us.   The gentle and clear guidance of the Holy Spirit, who constantly makes the words of Jesus present to us!


Let us consider this as the gentle yoke of Jesus, in which He gives us His Spirit, the Spirit of love and truth, so that we are led by the Spirit who guided Jesus, who Himself always listened to the heavenly Father.


This is the great turning point for us: the Lord bears our burdens and we bear his gentle yoke.   In this way rest will come to our soul, we will arrive at home, at a home that will remain for eternity; the restlessness of our heart will disappear and perhaps after a while we will notice that our life is transformed, that the heaviness has gone and that deep down in our soul dwells someone who spreads his light; and if we do not send him away, he will always remain!