You probably will not find a more comforting reading in all of Scripture. “My yoke is easy and my burden light.”
For years I could not understand this reading. I don’t think someone can until they are older. Not until they are in their 30s, 40s or 50s; not until life has beaten you up a couple of times; not until life has done its thing to you more than once.
When I was a child, and I would hear this Gospel passage, I couldn’t relate to it. The yoke of the Lord seemed burdensome enough to me, for it meant, as a child, that I had to tell the truth when I could have lied and gotten out of something, or I had to go out to the garden when Mom told me to or clean the barns when Dad told me to do so. When I was a teenager, I had to be chaste in a very unchaste world. That seemed rather burdensome to me at the time.
Only with maturity could I understand what Jesus is telling us today.
One has to undergo a conversion to understand, really. You know, the type of conversion Jesus talks a lot about. One has to experience the conversion that happens at baptism when we reject sin and Satan and say “yes” to God and his ways. When we embrace Jesus and the Church. Only then do we really experience what Jesus says is his light yoke and easy burden.
Think about it: What keeps you up at night worrying? It isn’t things of God; no, it will be something of the world, some worldly burden.
God’s ways are freeing; they are light compared to the burdens of the world. Everything God either asks of us or demands of us is asked or demanded only to free us from the burden of sin and the world. Only to give us the freedom of the sons and daughters of God.
May we pray in gratitude today for the yoke of the Lord, which is indeed light and freeing. May we pray too that more people will come to take on that yoke and put it on their shoulders and experience the mercy and support of our God.