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Fr Kirby’s Korner

We get to hear Jesus speak again about our burdens and yokes and how Jesus will lift our burdens and give us much more manageable yokes. It is interesting that Jesus doesn’t tell us that he is going to simply take whatever our yoke is off forever, no he is going to give us a different one, his yoke. It seems as though yokes are part of life, no one gets off the earth without carrying some kind of yoke.

I guess the question is what kind of yoke do you want to carry? Granted there are yokes that are just part of life, sickness, sorrow, choices and opinions of other people, violence, etc. At the same time, I imagine there are all kinds of yokes we choose to carry, some good and beneficial, while there are those that are self afflicted and unnecessary.  

Life is hard enough without adding senseless yokes of our own making and choosing. Some people choose to go through life carrying around the yoke of anger, being mad and threatened by others who they either fear or don’t understand. It must be exhausting living like that. Jesus invites us to come to him and he will take the yoke of hatred and anger off our shoulders and replace it with compassion, understanding and respect. Some insist on carrying around yokes of selfishness, obsessed with keeping what is theirs and coveting what others have. It must be exhausting and depressing to be so worried about one’s self excluding all others. People with those yokes not only refuse to help others with theirs but complain that no one helps them with theirs. There are countless other self imposed yokes, guilt and shame, just to name a few. 

Jesus simply invites us to come and learn from him to rid ourselves of these useless and burdensome yokes and replace them with his, which is light with love, compassion and forgiveness. Jesus promises us that his yoke allows us to be so much happier, peaceful and easy. With all the yokes of the world we have to carry, why do we insist on carrying around such useless, senseless and self imposed burden? Isn’t it time to relieve ourselves of all those burdens and find some rest, by trying to live as Jesus tries to teach us to live?


James Kirby