06 July 2008

Fair Trade

In today's Gospel, Our Lord invites us to take up his yoke and learn from his gentle and humble heart. The weary are invited to approach him and (one can only presume) trade their heavy loads for his light burden. Hardly a fair trade -- but such a bargain for the unworthy mortal!
Surely each of us can think of someone we know who has been relieved of a burden: perhaps a mended relationship, a project completed, a responsibility removed, etc. There is a often a visible sign of a person's relief: steps are lighter, smiles come more easily -- an all-around air of gratitude. It is this to which the Lord invites us today. Our responsibilities and concerns will not disappear when we respond to the Lord's invitation to approach him, but they will be disarmed of their power over our hearts and our peace of mind.
We can only take up the sweet burden of the Lord if we first lay down what is already on our shoulders so that, in wearing his yoke, we may learn to become more like him who is gentle and humble of heart. When we surrender our own burden to wear his yoke, we know that our burden cannot help but to be lighter because it is shared . . . for it is his yoke and it is the Lord to whom we are joined.

"Certainly nothing can humble us so effectually before the mercy of God as the multitude of His benefits . . . the lively consideration of graces received makes us humble because a knowledge of them excites gratitude."
St. Francis de Sales

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