The good news for the day July 14

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time (392)

Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who work so hard and feel overwhelmed, and I will give you pause. Put my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am unassuming and humble in how I approach life—and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is stress-free, and my load light.” (Matthew 11)

In another place in the Gospels, Jesus uses the image of a woman giving birth—to describe a pain that produces a new life. It is the image here—choose work and following Jesus—and a new life begins—surprisingly easier than the “old life” you have been living.

You pass through a “tribulation” to find that a commitment of faith produces new life, a fresh perspective, a comfort, and strength. This new life is as unexpected as a baby must feel in going from his or her warm wet enclosure into a free space—where this freshly born youngster has to breathe and live “out in the open.”

So many of us feel “overwhelmed.” We Americans especially like to work ourselves to the bone—to play or be responsible or watch our budget, or follow news or do other trivial or serious things that burden our very souls.

What matters in the larger scheme of things? Here these words come into play. Do you see the humility of Jesus—not a cowering timidity, but quiet courage to accept and deal with a world that wants to overburden us? What else? His link—the “yoke”—an image unfamiliar to many of us)—that pairs us with our partnered hauler—the child of God. You and others are oxen pulling the world and together you ease your world’s suffering. This image suggests the reality—the hard part—acceptance—you “accept the things you cannot change”—and then comes a freedom, a new life. It comes back to welcoming the truth coming to you—not trying to solve every problem, but sifting for what matters and for where you can make your difference.

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