Father Shawn Aaron, LC
Matthew 11: 28-30
Jesus said: "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
Introductory Prayer: Almighty and ever-living God, I seek
new strength from the courage of Christ our shepherd.
I believe in you, I hope in you, and
I seek to love you with all my heart, all
my soul, all my mind, and all my strength.
I want to be led one day to join the
saints in heaven, where your Son Jesus Christ lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God
forever and ever.
Petition: Lord Jesus, meek and humble
of heart, help me to take on your yoke.
1. Come to Me: If you struggle daily to do
what is morally right even when those around you
take shortcuts, then come to Jesus. If the life
of selfish pleasure and illicit gain seems exceedingly attractive,
then come to Jesus. If you are burdened with your
patterns of sin and weaknesses of character that affect
your vocation as a spouse, a parent, a friend,
a consecrated soul, a Christian…, then come to Jesus. If
life seems unfair and God seems distant at best,
then come to Jesus. He calls us not to a
set of principles and noble ideals, but to his
very person. We do not follow rules for the
sake of rules; we follow Jesus. Only when we have
first come to him will we understand the need
for the rules which simply help protect the dignity
of this relationship.
2. Learn from Me: St. Paul
admonishes the Galatians to live in the freedom of Christ:
"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm,
therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke
of slavery" (Galatians 5:1). Yet in his letter to the
Ephesians, St. Paul invites us to be "slaves of
Christ, doing the will of God from the heart"
(6:5). To be a slave means that I submit to
the will of another or am subordinated (unwillingly) to
one stronger than I in some way. One who is
a slave of passion, vanity, selfishness or any other
vice is subject to that vice as something more
powerful than oneself. But Jesus calls us friends and
not slaves (cf. John 15:14-15). So to be a "slave"
of Christ means to entrust my life to him
freely with the intention of following where he leads.
Experience shows that he always guides us down the path
that leads to our happiness and fulfillment, even when
it entails the cross.
3. Rest for Yourselves: These words
mean “rest,” not in the sense of cessation from
work and struggle, but in the sense of peace
of soul, joy and profound happiness. This is the rest
that we all long for, the rest that will
one day be uninterrupted in the bliss of heaven.
We have each met individuals who experience this peace and
joy despite their circumstances. Notice that Jesus does not
promise to take away the burdens, the trials, the
sufferings. But if we take his yoke upon ourselves, if
we submit to his plan, his will, his love,
he guarantees the joy. If you have never experienced
it, then begin today; give him what you know in
your heart he is asking of you. Although it
may hurt at first, as does every yoke, this one
brings the lightness of peace and the ease of
Conversation with Christ: Blessed Lord, you
lead me towards everlasting peace if I will simply follow,
but following does not always seem simple. Give me
the very things you ask of me: faith, generosity,
courage, trust, love. With these gifts and your grace I
will have the strength necessary for the journey.
Resolution: Today I will pray an extra decade of
the rosary for the persons who are farthest away