In today’s first reading from the book of the great prophet Isaiah, the Holy One sets a confronting tone while speaking to Jacob. It sounds as though the heaven’s rumbled, thunders roared and lightening clashed as The Holiest of Holy questioned and declared, “To whom can you compare me, or who is my equal?…Yahweh is the everlasting God, he created the remotest parts of the earth. He gives strength to the weary, He strengthens the powerless…but those who hope in Yahweh will regain their strength, they will sprout wings like eagles, though they run they will not grow weary, though they walk they will never tire.”
The Magisterium of the Catholic Church, through CCC magnifies the essence of what Isaiah testifies in his book. CCC Para 208: “Faced with God’s fascinating and mysterious presence, man discovers his own insignificance. Before the burning bush, Moses takes off his sandals and veils his face in the presence of God’s holiness.13 Before the glory of the thrice-holy God, Isaiah cries out: “Woe is me! I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips.”14 Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus, Peter exclaims: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”15 But because God is holy, he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him: “I will not execute my fierce anger. . . for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst.”16 The apostle John says likewise: “We shall. . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus gave praise, honour and glory to His Father, whom He presented to the world as The One who teaches Him everything (John 15:15). As a testimony to His Word and an echo of His Father’s voice in the Old Testament, Jesus the Good Shepherd, Priest, King and God, assures our weary heart with these words of great consolation, and nourishment for our soul.
“Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.29 Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light’ (Matt 11:28-30).
Through His ignominious passion and death, Jesus bore the weight of our suffering. He conquered death by rising from the dead on the third day, His glorious resurrection. Thus mankind rose from the burden of a weight that only life could overweigh. He bore the cross with charity and love, thus teaching us that His love pierces through the toughest of situations, every abyss of hopelessness, despair or guilt. His crucifixion is an immeasurable manifestation of His words, “I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The yoke of Christ is easy, because His yoke is obedience to His Father, in other words, – to perfect will, and to join our will to that obedience is to experience the joy that He experienced even in His sufferings. As Jesus is in His Father and His Father in Him, if we shoulder His yoke, He in us, will make our burden light and easy, as did His Father make His burden light when He had to bare the entire weight of mankind’s sin.
In times of our weariness let us always remember and imbibe strength from God’s word in the book of Lamentations, “It is good to wait in silence for Yahweh to save. 27 It is good for someone to bear the yoke from a young age, 28 to sit in solitude and silence when it weighs heavy, 29 to lay one’s head in the dust — maybe there is hope- 30 to offer one’s cheek to the striker, to have one’s fill of disgrace! 31 For the Lord will not reject anyone for ever.” Amen.