“For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” - Matthew 11:30
 

As Christians we are called to give our lives over to God and to submit our wills to His. As Americans this may not seem like the easiest or most desirable path to take when seen through the ideal of freedom. And yet Christ promises that those who follow Him will have an easy yoke and a light burden to carry. There is a freedom in submission to Christ who takes away all of our worries and shows us the right paths to take. 

For those that are unfamiliar with what a yoke is, it attaches oxen to one another and a cart in order to help farmers to guide them as they till a field. So as Christ uses this symbol in our Gospel, He is calling Himself the farmer that guides us as we work the fields of the Lord. But once we take on this yoke of Christ, we are able to be guided on the right paths so that our works might bear fruit in the Kingdom of God. It takes humility to accept this task as it does require letting go of our own wills in order to accept the Will of God above anything else. 

Today the Church honors Saint Lucy, a young fourth century martyr from the Roman Empire. In a time when Christian persecution still took place on a daily basis, Lucy remained a devout Christian as she offered her life to Christ as His bride. Although she had a suitor who greatly desired her, Lucy remained persistent in her devotion to Jesus and preferred imprisonment over defilement of her promised virginity to the Lord. Legend has it that the governor who imprisoned her became so greatly angered with her steadfast faith to God that he commanded her eyes to be plucked out! Although we do not know much beyond this about Lucy, we can take courage from her witness and entrust our lives to the Lord just as she did. She took up the yoke that Christ called her to and even though it led to her eventual martyrdom, she never lost sight of the hope and joy that comes from God. If she was able to take on such a frightening yoke as martyrdom, what excuse do we have that can hold us back from accepting our lesser burdens? 

So take the opportunity this week to pray for God to help you to let go of yourself and to give all that you have over to him. To close today, let us pray the Litany of Humility for the special intention of our own subservience to the will of God.


 

 

Let us pray,

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Amen

 

 

This reflection was written by Kevin Effron
Kevin Effron is a first year Master of Divinity student at the University of Notre Dame. He is working at Verso Ministries this year as his ministry placement for his M.Div. and is the proud creator and organizer of Prepare the Way. Kevin hopes that you find this retreat as spiritually fruitful to meditate upon as he did while helping to put it all together. 

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