The Path of Love

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“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.”
(Matthew 11:25-30)

Scripture Study

11:25–27 Jesus’ thanksgiving prayer stands in contrast to the preceding narrative (11:20–24). While several towns reject Christ, there is a remnant (including the disciples) who trust him with the simplicity of infants (11:25; cf. 18:1–4; 19:13–15). Jesus’ language is similar to several statements in John’s Gospel that articulate his unique relationship with the Father (Jn 3:35; 10:14–15; 17:25). ● The intimacy between the Father and Son points to their oneness within the Blessed Trinity—i.e., their shared divine knowledge implies a shared divine nature.

11:28–30 Jesus invites disciples to follow and learn from him as the model of perfect obedience to the Father (11:27; CCC 520). ● Jesus evokes “wisdom’s” invitation to the humble in the OT. In Sir 51, wisdom calls “Draw near to me” (51:23), “put your neck under the yoke” (51:26), and “see with your eyes that I have labored little and found for myself much rest” (51:27). These parallels reinforce Jesus’ self-identification as “wisdom” in 11:19.

11:29 you will find rest: Jesus’ invitation cues the following controversies regarding the spiritual significance of the Sabbath (12:1–14). While the Old Covenant celebration of the Sabbath centered on earthly rest from earthly labor (Ex 20:8–11), Jesus offers heavenly rest in the New (Heb 4:1–11).

Scripture Reflection

In our Gospel today, the king says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” He is identifying every person who feels put upon by the world: economic worries, physical suffering, deep injustice, the death of a husband or wife, or the fear of your own death. You surely know what he’s referring to—we all do.

What is the answer? The answer is submitting to his kingship. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” We are meant to imagine ourselves as pack animals. It seems rather demeaning, but this is what submission to Christ’s lordship looks like: we serve his purposes and go where he wants us to go.

Is Christ commanding your life in every detail? Is he the Lord of your family life? Of your recreational life? Of your professional life? Of your sexuality? Of your friendships? Are you totally given over to him, under his lordship?

I know that this is starting to sound oppressive, but remember, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When we surrender to the path of love which he has laid out for us, our lives become infinitely lighter, easier, more joyful, for we are moving with the divine purpose.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

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