“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29).
Today we celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a heart which Jesus describes as gentle and lowly. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus is rejoicing and offering thanksgiving to God the Father for the success recorded by the twelve apostles He sent out for evangelization. Do you know why Jesus sent them out? In Matthew 9:34, we read: “When Jesus saw the crowds, He had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
You see, Jesus felt compassion for the crowds. Jesus feels compassion because He has a heart that is gentle and lowly. It gets even better, apart from merely feeling for us, Jesus is always ready with a solution. Like in the feeding of the multitudes, Jesus is not a person who simply says “sorry” and walks away. Jesus sent out the twelve and when they returned with Good News, Jesus was overjoyed.
Dear friends, the truth is that just as Jesus felt for these crowds, He continues to feel for us today. He knows that there would be more in such pitiable condition as the crowds. This is why Jesus said: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
Are you troubled, disturbed, confused, dejected, angry, hopeless, etc.? Jesus is saying to you today: “Come to me. I know what you are going through and I have the solution.” God alone has all the answers. As Moses says to us in today’s first reading: “He is a faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love for those who love Him and keep His commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
Apart from simply coming to Him, Jesus wants us to take His yoke and learn from him. In a world where might is right; a world where people would rather have their way by violence, Jesus wants us to learn from his simplicity, gentleness and lowliness. As he said: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” To Peter who wanted to fight for him on the night of His arrest, Jesus said: “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52).
Learning from Jesus entails learning to forgive others. This is the yoke that we have to bear but as Jesus says, it is easier than we think and it is key for finding rest for our souls. As John says in today’s second reading, “Let us love one another (including our enemies), for he who does not love does not know God.” (1 John 4:7-8). Loving others is a natural implication of knowing God. If you have never loved, you would never know how God feels towards you.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, I come to you, make my heart soft and gentle like yours. Amen. Bible Study: Deuteronomy 7:6-11, Psalm 103, 1st John 4:7-16 and Matthew 11:25-30).