"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" — David Livingstone
Gospel text (Mt 12:14-21): The Pharisees went out and made plans to get rid of Jesus. As Jesus was aware of the plot, He went away from that place. Many people followed him and He cured all who were sick. Then He gave them strict orders not to make him known. In this way Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled: «Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, and with whom I am pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him and He will announce my judgment to the nations. He will not argue or shout, nor will his voice be heard in the streets. The bruised reed He will not crush, nor snuff out the smoldering wick. He will persist until justice is made victorious and in him all the nations will put their hope».
The Pharisees went out and made plans to get rid of Jesus» (Mt 12:14) and... if we know the disciple is not above his teacher (cf. Mt 10:24), we should be conscious that we shall also have to suffer from incomprehension and persecution. No, none of us who believe in Christ in the year 2010 will be “nailed to a cross”, but rest assured, if you follow Christ as He laid it out in the gospel, you will suffer some form of persecution in this world. Bet on that one my friends. "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. (John 15:18)
All in all, it is a heavy burden upon us, a bundle that strains us. And we feel as if Jesus would be saying: «Cast off your bundle at me feet, and I will take care of it; give me that heavy burden that crashes you, and I will carry it; unload your worries and turn them over to me...».
It is kind of funny: Jesus invites us to cast off our burden, while He is offering us another one: his yoke, with the promise, however, that it is a soft and light one. He wants to show us that we cannot go around the world without any burden upon us. We are to carry some kind of load, there is no way around it! We make a choice, each and every person you know or ever will know, they make a choice and they make it everyday. Think about it……
But when you make that “choice“, let it not be a bundle full of selfishness and sin; let it be, instead, His burden that does not encumber us. One “load" gives you peace, the other may look good (and feel good at first), but it steals your peace and goes sour in time. Once again, think about it…………….
In Africa, mothers and elder sisters carry their offspring on their back. A missionary, once, saw a girl carrying her little brother... And he asked her: «Are you sure he is not too heavy for you?». And she answered back without thinking twice: «He is not heavy, he is my little brother, and I love him». Love, Jesus’ yoke, it is not only light, but it also sets us free from all that overwhelms us.