The Yoke of Kindness

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor Church
Readings: JER 28:1-17; PS 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102; MT 14:13-21
Notes: Which Yoke is for you?

No Yoke? Anchorlessness seems appealing to some especially in the face of such disappointment in government and religion, and, even family life. It seems to them almost right we are but animalistic beings with little moral thought to guide us.

Learn the lesson from the Alligator. Alligators naturally watch over their hatchlings. They are very protective. But with the encroachment of man, the modern practice is to abandon them once humans come into contact as a way of protecting the hatchlings and the mother herself. This is an example of brokenness.

Wood Yoke – the moderate and gentle yoke of the Lord.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matt 11:29-30).

At times it may not be what we want at the level of human impulse but it is the perfect guide in life in every way.

Iron Yoke – the world’s domination of mind, body and if you allow your soul.

We celebrate Saint Alphonsus who preached and taught moral theology giving us a model of moderation and gentleness.

Reflection

Saint Alphonsus was known above all as a practical man who dealt in the concrete rather than the abstract. His life is indeed a practical model for the everyday Christian who has difficulty recognizing the dignity of Christian life amid the swirl of problems, pain, misunderstanding and failure. Alphonsus suffered all these things. He is a saint because he was able to maintain an intimate sense of the presence of the suffering Christ through it all. From:
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-alphonsus-liguori

First reading
Previously – The Wood Yoke

The LORD said to me: Make for yourself thongs and yoke bars and put them on your shoulders. To Zedekiah, king of Judah, I spoke the same words: Bend your necks to the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, so that you may live. (Jer 27:2, 12).

Disobedience (with the natural consequences)

Now – The Iron Yoke

Thus says the LORD:
By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke!
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
A yoke of iron I will place on the necks
of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him. (Jer 28:13b-14).

Responsorial Psalm
Lord, teach me your statutes.

Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.

Alleluia Verse
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel Portion
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over– twelve wicker baskets full.

Let us learn from the lesson of the Two Yokes.

Jesus, tired, grieving, and heavily burdened remained as the Divine person he is: gentle and kind.

His yoke is better.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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