Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 9, 2017

"Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest." -- Matthew 11:29

“Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest.” — Matthew 11:29

July 9, Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

      Cycle A. Readings

      1) Zechariah 9:9-10

      Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14

      2) Romans 8:9, 11-13

      Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30


By Bozena Cloutier
Catholic News Service

When in England, I went to visit my nephew Dominic. He lives in a group home with several other mentally challenged young adults. Dominic, with severe Down syndrome, has no speech. On this visit it was clear that Dominic recognized me and even reached out to touch me, something he never had done before. I was deeply moved. Walking back to the subway my memory took me back to the time when he was born.

My sister had had a difficult pregnancy. This was her second child, and the birth of a boy was greeted with joy. However, shortly thereafter the doctors came bearing somber news: The baby had Down syndrome.

I remember the letter that my sister wrote to our mother soon after the birth. In it she gravely appraises mother of the facts and then goes on to reflect on the implications of the event. Unquestioningly she accepts this child as a gift from God especially entrusted to her.

That was 30 years ago, and my sister has died. Her life was marked by a single-minded commitment to Dominic’s welfare. Her marriage broke up under the strain, but she persisted in finding and promoting the very best for her special son. In the end she found an ideal placement for Dominic. At that point she seemed to relax, and the disease she had battled so successfully for so many years finally claimed her.

Why these memories? Because the Scriptures this weekend contain a familiar, but difficult text. “Take my yoke upon you,” Jesus says. “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Which one of us when carrying that yoke has not protested, perhaps silently, about the truth of those words? Was my sister’s yoke easy to bear? Definitely not. Was her burden light? No again. It was heavy, onerous, exhausting. Was the yoke made specially for her, did it fit her well? Here I have to say yes. And in bearing that yoke, she and Dominic became the best they could be.


Recall some of the yokes you have had to carry. Did you ever reflect on Jesus’ words “my yoke is easy”? Were they true for you? In retrospect, how do you evaluate those experiences? Were they for your growth?

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2 Responses to Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 9, 2017

  1. Marc Karta says:

    Hi Bozena,
    I am Marconi Kartakpah from Liberia. Thanks for the wonderful reflection drawn from Matthew 11:29. As a pastor for a small church, carrying the burndings of many issues over 12 years have had serious impacts on my life and ministry. Church growth in terms of membership had over the years a challenge to deal with. On each Sunday, I worry a lot and finally, I let it go. Jesus Christ stepped in in different way. The school attach to the church was also low on enrollment for 10 years. There and then, Ebola crisis stepped in and sentp us back for 10 years. God in his infinite power, responded in blessing. Jesus covered 10 years of burdened with one year enrollment with 500 plus students. Before, our enrollment was 125 students every year. Now, I realized that both God and Jesus were teaching me but I could not understand the concept. The burden of membership increase is something we are carefully studying and asking God in careful maner. We are now asking God to give us wisdom as how to handle bigger opportunity if we are given and endorsed by God.

    Sorry to mention this, I am not a Catholic, but I love reading your reflections most of the time.

  2. Patrick chibuzo says:

    Thank u jesus for ur yoke that is easy for us and ur burden very light for us to carry.

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