January 11, 2018

Post-feast of Theophany; Our Venerable Father Theodosius, Founder of the Cenoebitic Monastic Life (529)

2 Corinthians 4:6-15; Matthew 11:27-30

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

“Come!” is the most frequent invitation of Christ in the New Testament. “Come and see,” “Come follow me,” “Come to me”. Today Christ invites to him everyone who labors and who is burdened. Aren’t we all burdened with something? Work, school, family, taxes, shopping lists, doctor appointments, banking…and the list of our burdens can go on and on. We naturally are burdened with something. There is always something on our shoulders and on our minds that slows us down.

But here comes surprise! Jesus Christ, our Saviour, good/caring/loving Shepherd, Lord of our lives tells us to “take up” a yoke. Isn’t that shocking? We come to Christ to find some rest and ask for relief but he does something opposite…He invites us to take up his yoke. Christ has His own ways of comforting and giving us rest. It is his yoke…

To describe the nature of the yoke, the evangelist Matthew uses the Greek word “chrestos” for “easy” which is only by a single letter different from Christos [Christ] (χρηστός vs Χριστός). This connection, when you think about it, is fascinating. Christ’s yoke is He himself. It is not something we put on our shoulders, decide to do or commit ourselves to. It is who we are. And we are Christians!

At the baptism in the Easter rite we sing “All you who have been baptized into Christ, you have put on Christ. Alleluia.” It perfectly reflects our calling to be Christ-like, God-like, “to be gentle, meek, lowly in heart.”

Do not be afraid to submit to the yoke of Christ! By everyday putting on Christ and joining Him in the yoke of love. It is freeing! It is love! It is salvation. Such “yoke” will give rest and peace for there is nothing more restful and peaceful than love. Love that finds its source and goal in God through our neighbour, is where our soul rests completely satisfied and infinitely happy.

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