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My Yoke is Easy

This reflection was written for the BLD weekly newsletter called The Covenant News, December 9, 2011. In it I mention the Commitment letter, which is a major step in the initiation process which leads to full membership in the BLD Community.

BLD stands for Bukas Loob sa Diyos which means “Open in Spirit to God” in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, where BLD began. BLD is a network of Covenant Communities with district branches around the world.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”  (Mt 11:28-30)

The deadline for submitting this reflection was yesterday. I’ve been trying to write it for at least a month and just can’t seem to find the right words. But today is the day! I am determined to get this written. However, this morning when I sat down at the computer with the best of intentions, I noticed my credit card bill needed to be paid and there were several important emails awaiting my attention. On top of those distractions, Christmas is coming and my grand-kids’ wish lists are just a click away. Suddenly, I heard a loud BOOM and the screen went dark. When our power goes out, we lose the computer, TV, and phone, the very distractions that have kept me from starting this reflection on Matthew 11:28-30.

This isn’t the first time God made me stop and pay attention to this little love note He sends to all His weary, over-worked, stressed-out children. This is one of those scripture verses that I have been fond of for as long as I can remember. Over time, I have learned that coming to Him doesn’t just mean prayer. It means Mass, adoration, worship, reading His Word and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Again and again, I find that Jesus keeps His wonderful promise: “I will give you rest.”

It took me a long time to figure out the next part of this verse, “Take my yoke upon you…For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”  If a person is already weighed down by the demands of his work and his family responsibilities or is dealing with worries over health or financial issues, how could he even think of adding on the yoke and burden that Jesus offers him, even if they are easy and light? Eventually God answered this question for me. It isn’t often that the Holy Spirit speaks directly to my heart; but when He does, He uses words that are unmistakable, loud and clear; and He makes a lasting impression. It came as our Marriage Encounter class was getting ready to sign our BLD Commitment letters and present them to Fr. Lehman at a Community Mass. In my mind Commitment meant more time, more work, more service to the community. I wasn’t sure I had it in me. Besides that, I was dealing with the persistent fear that the hope I felt and the new life I had found in Christ could easily slip through my fingers. That’s when the Spirit explained it to me. Jesus never intended to pile His burden on top of my own, but rather that I should trade my heavy burden for His light one. In fact, He was saying, “You take on this Commitment, and I will take away your fear.”  That night I took Him at His word, and those fears have never returned. Thanks be to God.

2 thoughts on “My Yoke is Easy

  1. Thanks for this beautiful piece. Surely the Holy Spirit worked wonders in you at the appointed time. Brings back fond memories of this blessed event.

  2. Love this!

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