Can you believe we are still below normal for snowfall totals this year! My children are excited though: they get another day off school. What they can’t comprehend is that they will have to go longer into June, to make up for all the snow days they have had this year.
Today, I am reflecting on how our burdens weigh us down, and how we can lighten the load.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
A person who seeks help for a friend, while needy himself, will be answered first. — The Talmud
“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 your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (NAB Mt 11:28-30)
Can you picture a draft horse or big bull with a large wooden beam across their shoulders, and tied around their necks; straining under the pressure of pulling a heavy object through the dark, rocky, and thick clay soil. We are doing the same thing right now! Got your attention; didn’t I!
We carry a large amount of burdens with us daily. Call it a yoke, or call it a cross; the weight of our problems pushes against us, and we have to wade through the tension of our burdens, in order to continue on our path. What are these burdens: debt, illness, food and utility costs, college education, and our children’s everyday care are just a few. We carry enough problems to weigh us down, but most of us choose to also carry the weight of our loved ones as well.
These verses are similar to Ben Sirach’s invitation to learn wisdom and submit to her yoke. In Sirach 51:23, 26, it is written, “Come aside to me, you untutored, and take up lodging in the house of instruction; Submit your neck to her yoke, that your mind may accept her teaching. For she is close to those who seek her, and the one who is in earnest finds her.”
We need to learn from the wisdom given to us from our elders, and from the Bible. The answers are there for the finding. Don’t forget to also pray in the attempt to gain wisdom and understanding. Prayer is essential in helping redistribute the load we are carrying. Our burdens seem a lot lighter when the Holy Spirit is there to help carry it.
Jesus invites us to take our burdens of daily living by taking the ‘yoke of obedience’ to HIS word, where we will find rest. In the Old Testament book of Jeremiah [6:16], it was prophesied, “Thus says the LORD: Stand beside the earliest roads and its history, and the lessons to be learned from it. Ask the pathways of old which is the way to good, and walk it; thus you will find rest for your souls.”
“Jesus, please be with me and lighten my load. You know what I can handle, and I trust that you will not give me more than is possible for me. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #9:
The Virgin Mary, humble servant of the Lord, was open to His every word and call. She was embraced by Francis with indescribable love and declared the protectress and advocate of his family. The Secular Franciscans should express their ardent love for her by imitating her complete self-giving and by praying earnestly and confidently.