Throughout his public ministry, Jesus addresses people who are overworked or carrying heavy loads due to political and religious oppression. He offers them an alternate way: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” His ministry stands in stark contrast to earthly rulers whose yokes weigh down and oppress. Jesus offers a yoke that in the Greek suggests suitability. The yoke of Jesus is to learn from him. To learn his way. To follow it. This schooling comes from the hand of a “gentle” teacher.
And Jesus makes it clear that a high IQ or lofty position does not give us an inroad to God’s wisdom. Instead, God has “revealed [divine wisdom] to infants.” To infants? Why to infants? They receive what is given, and they come with no preconceived ideas about God. How can we open ourselves to receive what God offers in this way? What do we need to release about our understandings of God’s work in the world—and how God works in the world?
Jesus and God “know” each other in an intimate way. We come to knowledge of each only through divine revelation. Jesus’ calling anoints us with hope and joy. When we follow, we nd rest for our souls. His way puts us on the road to recovery. He will set us on the path of true life where active benevolence becomes our desire as we freely serve. Living in the light of freedom and dignity for every person, especially the deprived, will not be a burden. It will in fact point the way to true refreshment.
We commit our way to the Lord, trust him, and know that he will act. We go forth sent by our gracious Father.

Jesus, I yearn for your “easy” yoke. I want to learn your way and find rest. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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Lectionary Week
July 3–9, 2017
Scripture Overview

The Genesis text tells of Abraham’s quest to find a bride for Isaac from among his own people. In opting for Isaac, Rebekah makes herself the instrument for the preservation of the promise; God’s intentions are sure. A hymn honoring the marriage commitment is a good pairing with Genesis, since the Song of Solomon addresses the sweetness of love. Romans 7 depicts a battle of human life. Here the strong desire to do good and serve God rightly is threatened by the enemy of sin. Jesus’ prayer in Matthew recalls that knowledge of sin’s defeat often comes to those “infants” to whom God has granted revelation.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67. How difficult is it for you to trust that God will act for your good, even if you nd yourself waiting?
• Read Song of Solomon 2:8-13. Whose voice have you known as beloved? How did it waken you to creation’s beauty?
• Read Romans 7:15-25a. How might you let God’s understanding love make a change in your actions?
• Read Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30. Jesus offers rest for our souls. How do you tap into that wonderful offer?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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