Reflecting on Matthew 11: 25-30
I have a great summer read for you. James Martin, S.J. has written, in my opinion, his best book ever. Jesus: a Pilgrimage is an utterly captivating, easy to read account of his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It’s delightful to see the holy sites through the eyes of this insightful author and spiritual director, who is seeing the places mentioned in the gospels for the first time.
Right off the bat he taught me something. I knew that Jesus was probably not a “carpenter” as we think of that word. It’s more likely that Joseph and Jesus worked with stone as well as wood. In fact, Justin Martyr, writing in the year 90, said that carpenters made yokes and plows.
There go any fanciful images of Jesus as a slight young man with soft hands! Imagine how strong and skilled he must have been, creating those sturdy implements in the blazing sun. And then imagine him telling his neighbors, the ones who grew up with him and knew him all those years of his hidden life in Nazareth, to take his yoke upon them, for it is easy and its burden is light.
Happy the oxen who bears a light yoke! The craftsman who could make that was the pride of Nazareth. And here is Jesus, bragging about his skill to his friends, urging them to trust him, to find relief and comfort in him, in the same way that their animals find comfort when one of his yokes is placed upon them.
Ah, summer. Hot dogs, potato salad, and a book that brings Jesus right up on the porch. Happy Independence weekend.
How have you learned to trust in Jesus more and more?