14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 9th July, 2017

Liturgical Reflection

Zech 9:9-10; Rom. 8:9,11-13; Matt. 11:25-30

Just to hear the word ‘yoke’ brings to mind the words of Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you…” and until today, conjured up in my mind a single image of a yoke. Just today, I went first to a Biblical Concordance and then to Google images of yokes and was amazed at the multiplicity of references in the one, and the huge variety of yokes in the other. Two that seemed to have special significance are the two shown here.



This one with the three women is quite shocking. They are clearly unequal to the task and one wants to ask, where are the men – or, better still, where are the oxen? To these people, Jesus is saying, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy burdened… take up my yoke and learn from me.”

We can go to him with confidence, for he and St Joseph would surely have been called on to make yokes in their carpenters’ workshop, and with a sensitivity we can be sure of, to craft each yoke to fit comfortably the animals that tilled the soil.


Most of us will probably put ourselves in the other picture, no doubt as the donkey. The coupling of such diverse animals would have taxed the carpenter, but he assures us, “my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

Jesus, you are indeed humble of heart, ready to stoop down to our level and to help us bear our burdens. Let us respond with gratitude to his invitation…

And since a picture paints a thousand words, let these two do just that.

Sr Helen Ryan op