Thought for the Day – 18 July – Thursday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30.
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”…Matthew 11:29-30
The Light Burden of the Law of Christ
Saint Jerome (347-420)
“Bear one another’s burdens and so you will fulfil the law of Christ.” Sin is a burden as the psalmist attests when he says: “My sins weigh heavy upon me.” But the Lord has carried this burden for us, teaching us, by His example what we ourselves should do. For it is He who bore the burden of our sins. He was stricken for our sake (cf Is 53:8) and invites those who are weighed down by the heavy burden of the Law and of their sins to carry the easy burden of virtue, saying: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”(Mt 11:30).
Therefore, whoever holds out a hand to the person who begs for support, not despairing of a neighbour’s salvation, who weeps with those who weep, is weak with those who are weak and who regards other’s sins as though they were his own – such a one, fulfils through charity, the law of Christ. What is this law of Christ? “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another” (Jn 13:34). What is the law of the Son of God? “Love one another as I have loved you.” How has the Son of God loved us? No one has greater love than this, “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”(Jn 15:13).
Someone who shows no clemency, who is not clothed with the bowels of mercy and tears, no matter what sort of student he is in spirituality, such a one does not fulfil the law of Christ.
Someone who comes to the assistance of the poor weighed down by the burden of destitution and makes friends with dishonest wealth (Lk 16:9), such a one shoulders the needs of his neighbour. This is the one to whom Jesus will say after the general resurrection: “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink” (Mt 25:34-35).