Let's be upfront, shall we?
Even though you (and I) experience the full force of sin, we who know this ever ancient ever new Christ get to experience this life in God's terms.
Isn't that good to know? Isn't that a validation of our humanity in this world where our humanness is cheap to those in power. That's the gist of Paul's passage in the scriptures today.
We often delude ourselves into thinking we cannot understand God. But in this reality-based existence, we see how God works all of the time. He's NOT complicated. Our Doctrinal practices in the Catholic Tradition make heaven a prize to be won or earned, or whatever. The reality is, we weigh ourselves down with too much burden.
Jesus tells us that we can sluff all that off and enjoy a light load. The way of God is not heavy; it's filled with light. Our world is in a pretty dark place, but if you look around, you'll see good news all over the place. We need to pay attention to it.
When Jesus asks us if we are tired, worn out, and sick of religion, he offers us a way out. Just follow him. Feed the hungry, love the unlovable, and make sure you're doing it not for your ego, but for the good of the person you serve. Watch how HE does it and learn those unforced rhythms of grace.
The promise made to us in this section from Matthew is that Jesus will not saddle us with more than we can bear.
I have an acquaintance who has been fighting stage 4 cancer for nearly 18 months now. Throughout this journey, grace and humility are a real testimony to maintaining the lighter side of life despite the heavy outcomes we can't control. I hear the stories from our parish's elderly population on how they have heard from more people in the past four months than they had throughout the previous 12. Those phone calls benefit their spirits so much! It wasn't hard to dial the phone or say hello, it is easy, and nearly everyone feels better!
When we trust Jesus to show us the way, we see how accepting the yoke of a good life is not a burden but an ever spring of joy.
Jesus challenges us to the easiest to complete tasks; we need to get over ourselves. Let's take wearing a facemask to limit the spread of COVID-19. It is a simple gesture to make people feel safer from an unperceivable threat. Keeping a six food distance from one another helps limit the airborne pathogen. When we follow Christ, we accept that we must do a few things that make us uncomfortable. So what's a little ear fatigue? What's the problem with wearing an outward sign of the love of neighbor? After all, that older man with COPD who walks by you in the grocery store deserves two things. The food he's there to get to eat and the health to enjoy it.
If you're asymptomatic and wandering without a mask on and get that older man sick, you may never know how you'll feel with that on your conscience. That's a burden you either dismiss out of selfishness or accept out of coming up short of the simple actions Christ asks of us.
We owe it to our neighbors to follow the simple things that lead to life-sustaining action. Let's take on the burden of a few ounces of fabric to our faces. Let's accept the responsibility of supporting neighbors and friends who cannot work due to this Coronavirus.
If we can get over ourselves, we can get on to taking care of each other.