Grace to you!
Previously, I reflected on the incredible revelation of Christ to us, his children. I emphasized that a humble disposition, such as being like little children, is key to discovering God's life revealed to us in Christ. Today, I look at how the revelation, plus embrace of Christ in our hearts, lifts the yoke of sin and the Law's burden.
One of the biggest worries of many hearts is the burden of sin. The guilt of sin and the pain of missed opportunities can be tormenting. By sin, I do not just mean the evil things we have done. I also include the good things we have failed to do. Many regrets result from the latter.
I don't know about you, but for me, sometimes, I have failed in certain aspects of my holy commitments. I have missed quite a few opportunities. There is some sort of "rebellion" in every heart. We love our ways, which many times do not glorify God. Yet, this weighs heavy in our hearts. Sin is a significant burden on the soul. It needs lifting. The Lord does the lifting: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
You see, though the above message could be applied to other sorts of worries and burdens we carry, the Lord was speaking specifically to the burden of sin. He was also referring to how relying on the Mosaic Law was like laboring under a frustrating yoke. It also relates to the weight of believing in self-help or our power to find peace with God.
If one relied on their power alone, we see how many of the walls and securities we build around us crumble. We are left to our painful vulnerabilities. Pride, they say, comes before a fall because the proud elbow out grace and assume the status of utter self-help or legal procedures that do not do much good to the soul.
The Blessed Lord knows the pains and weariness of every soul. He sees us burdened with the yoke of regulations that neither change the heart nor lift the soul's burden. Hence, he tells us, as he told his audience then: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Mt 11:29-30).
The new yoke the Lord proposes is the new Law of grace, in which he gives us not simply the way and the rules for life eternal, but also the power through his grace to live them. We die and are born anew to live the life of Christ.
The burden, weariness of sin begins to give way to the powerful grace of Christ, who makes all things new. But, at least one disposition is required to welcome this invitation. It is learning from Christ himself, the meek and humble.
We approach God in faith with humble hearts. I see this grace at its best when a burdened heart comes to Confession. The person goes home, receiving healing grace. The yoke of sin is broken, and the lighter yoke of the Law of Grace invigorates the person. We know the Lord does not cast us out because of our unworthiness. Instead, he cleanses us and shows mercy.
Let us confidently approach God and ask for grace and mercy for our daily life.
Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for lifting my burdens of sin and granting me the grace of new life in you. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday Week 15: Is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19; Mt 11:28-30]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.