Thursday, July 14, 2016

“Yes: a vocation demands self-denial, sacrifice. But how pleasant that sacrifice turns out to be — joy and peace — if that self-giving is complete!”

Gospel Text: (MT 11:28-30)
Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

It would be a mistake to confuse duty and virtue. We can easily take on daily duties, but do them without faith that God is acting through our simple efforts. We can do our daily duties without hope that what God can accomplish through our meager efforts is much more than we can imagine. To carry only the yoke of duty is to limit our efforts to the scope of our own understanding.

The virtues God enriches our lives with—both the human virtues of fortitude, temperance, prudence, and justice, and the divine virtues of faith, hope, and love—are great strengths for our Christian life. But they are also the yoke God asks us to bear. He asks that we reflect on the question of whom we serve in our lives. To perform duties for duties’ sake is to grow very weary. To carry out our obligations in order that another might have life and might be drawn closer to God: this is where we find rest. The yoke of the Cross is the virtue of love, the greatest virtue, by which we recognize the truth of Isaiah’s prophecy that it is the Lord who has accomplished all we have done.

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