One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." Dear friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus tells us "Take my yoke upon you...and I will give you rest." We need to hear these words often these days. Life can certainly be burdensome at times. We all know this is true. However, as Christians we know the one to whom we can always turn, the Lord Jesus. He says to each of us, “come to me”.
The yoke of Christ can be seen as the sum of our Christian responsibilities and duties. To take the yoke of Christ, therefore is to put ourselves in a relationship with Christ as His servants and subjects, and to conduct ourselves accordingly.
However, to take the yoke of Christ is to associate and identify ourselves with Him: our destiny with His destiny, our vision with His vision and our mission with His mission. Thus we are invited to understand from this context that we are not wearing the yoke alone and by our power but together with Christ and by the strength that comes from Him. It is to know that Jesus is not just a teacher who gives us instructions but also a friend who helps us to do it. We should never forget that we are yoked with Christ. He needs our feet to take Him where He is needed; our hands to bring His healing touch; our voices to speak His truth; our hearts to express His compassion and love. This is how the yoke becomes easy and the burden light.
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.