Homily – July 9, 2017

No one knows the Son except the Father and no one know the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’ That is what Jesus chooses to do. St. John teaches ‘God so loved the world he sent his son into the world, not to condemn the world but so that through him the world might be saved.’ Jesus made known to us that God was not some kind of cosmic force but a Father who so loved us he sent his son to bring us closer to himself. Jesus let us know God is a life-giving, life restoring, loving Father. St. Paul best summed it up by telling us that the crucified Christ is the love of God made visible.

Jesus is echoing our Father with his invitation, ‘come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.’

In the days of Jesus the peasants of the land were yoked as tenant farmers, their lives were governed by the will and whims of their wealthy land owners. These rustic, hardworking people whose subsistence existence allowed them to live only from day to day were controlled by religious and civil leaders who milked them for as much as they could.

In the village setting, Pharisees laid the yoke of their 613 commandments upon their followers and others who sought their advice about how to please God.

Today how many men and women are yoked, burdened by their addictions to drugs or booze or gambling, or pornography? How many are yoked, burdened by over-extended credit cards? How many are yoked to cell phones or the internet and so many other gadgets? How many are yoked to depression or debilitating illnesses? How many good men and women are yoked to under paid jobs?

Today we hear the compassionate and loving invitation of Jesus offering to yoke himself to us, a yoke that is neither burdensome nor oppressive but a yoke to support us and lessen our burdens. Jesus tells us ‘be yoked to me and I will walk with you and help you carry your burdens no matter what they may be.

This is a gracious invitation to all of us. Accepting it we will be yoked to Jesus, we will not walk alone; we will not bear our burdens alone, whatever they may be.

As we continue to celebrate our Mass we pray for ourselves and for each other that we be graced to accept Christ’s offer and face our struggles always supported by his presence and support.