Home » Opinion » Reflections Today » The gentle mastery of Christ

The gentle mastery of Christ

Gospel reading: Mt 11:28-30
Jesus said: 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 yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

I will give you rest. Jesus assures rest for his hardworking disciples. He invites them to come to him to recoup their energy.

To be true disciples, they must sweat it out, do unfamiliar things, and face strange people. It can be exhausting physically and psychologically. To follow Christ is deadly serious. Preaching exposes them to danger, like being sent to a battlefield. So Jesus invites them, “Come to me…” (v 28).

The other meaning of the word “rest” in Greek is refreshment. To be refreshed, they do not have to go back to the families they have left behind. Jesus takes over the role of their father, mother, spouse, children, sisters, brothers, and relatives who used to give them comfort.

When Jesus says, “My yoke is easy, and my burden light” (v 30), he is telling them that his approach to God is much simpler, in contrast to the other teachers of their religion who believe that to complicate worship is to please God.

In his approach, the responsibility required of them is much lighter. All they do is simply to follow him. Unlike the religious elite, Jesus does not exact oppressive obedience, beyond their means, for his own advantage.

If you feel burdened by your religion, you may not be following Christ at all.

* * *

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.