For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070917.cfm
When I was growing up in Anoka, above the sanctuary in old St. Stephen’s Church were the words: “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” As a small child I remember reading those words week after week and thinking “What a wonderful God we must have who will give us rest when we are weary.” As an adult I have come to know the truth of those words on occasions too numerous to mention. When we are weary or feeling burdened, God gives us the grace we need to carry on and not to give up or give in.
In our Gospel this weekend, though, not only does Jesus offer us rest in our weariness, he also invites us to “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me ……………….. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” According to Miriam Webster’s Dictionary, a yoke is a wooden bar or frame by which two animals are joined at the heads or necks for working together. What this suggests to me that when Jesus invites us to take his yoke upon us it means that he will work with us to help us carry what ever burden we are called to carry. I find this thought very comforting.
Our first reading this weekend is from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah. In it Zechariah prophesized that the King will return to Jerusalem and that the “warrior’s bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.” We believe this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus who is meek and humble of heart.
Our second reading this weekend is taken from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans. In it we are reminded that “If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- Have you ever felt Christ giving you rest? How would you describe the experience?
- Can you recall a time when you have taken on Christ’s yoke? Did you feel Christ’s grace helping you to carry a burden?
- When have you felt the Spirit dwelling in you?