Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Exodus 3:13-20; Matthew 11:28-30)
In Spencer Tracy’s classic portrayal of Fr. Flanagan in the movie “Boys Town,” a boy presents himself to the priest with a smaller boy on his back. Perhaps not to alarm the priest, the boy says, “He’s not heavy, Father, he’s my brother.” The lad’s statement echoes Jesus’ message in today’s gospel.
The “yoke” to which Jesus refers in the passage was a common metaphor used by the rabbis for the Law. One is yoked to God who guides the person to salvation. That Jesus’ yoke is “easy” will sound incongruous because he makes demands that go beyond the trying mandates of the Law: love your enemy; don’t lust after women, etc. But it is not really hard because Jesus who loves us will help us all along the way.
We should not fear but rather revel when challenges face us on every side. It is time to redouble our prayer to the Lord. He will graciously see us through the crisis.