Take the Y-O-K-E and P-U-S-H

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Father Dan Ferrandiz
For the U Matuna Si Yu’os

Growing up in a town close to the shipping port, I have seen men carrying heavy loads on their backs. They’re transporting goods from the ship to the land. The loads must have weighed more than the weight of these men we call “Cargadors” (Spanish “loader”, v. “Cargar” which means to load). In my mind I asked how long could these men endure carrying such heavy loads?

Life throws all kinds of burdens on us. Some light, others heavy. In a general sense, our burdens come from three sources. It could come from the natural product of the conditions of the world in which we live, such as sickness, physical disabilities and natural calamities. There are times that we prepare for them but more often they come unexpectedly without warning. Others who inflict us with unkindness and miseries cause some burdens.

Still, burdens can come from our own mistakes and wrong choices in life. As Christians and believers of Jesus Christ how should we deal with these burdens in life?

Jesus says: “Take my YOKE upon you and learn from me…”

Jesus is our Father in heaven who shares our burdens. The biggest lessons about facing sufferings are spelled out in the word Y-O-K-E. A yoke is defined as a wooden beam normally used between a pair of oxen or carabao or other animals to enable them to pull together a load. One is older and more experienced and carries a heavier load while the younger one learns from him.

In life, God is the older and more experienced “Cargador” and we learn from Him. Jesus, in facing trials takes the Y-O-K-E.

Y — Yield to God. Jesus yields to God’s purpose and plans. In the face of difficulties we too need to yield to God’s will. Yielding makes us see things more clearly. However, in yielding, our inner eyes, hearts and mind must be open.

O — Open your heart and mind to see the possibilities of God’s grace. With the eyes of Faith, trials and difficulties open new possibilities. Hardships may become blessings. When the door closes on us, a window usually opens. These possibilities may not be in sight so you need to be patient like St. Paul who kept his Faith. “I have fought a good fight, I have KEPT my faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).

Fr. Dan's pullqoute

K — Keeping your faith in tough times. Choose to remain faithful even when there is no visible sign of relief. Trust the invisible. This calls for patient endurance praying for strength and guidance. During trials pray that God guides your every step and to keep you strong. “Watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41).

Temptations are there to make you fall; but if you fall, start again and keep choosing God again and again. If you can’t carry the load try to P-U-S-H it but do not give up. The tough times may slow you down a bit, but we are living for something bigger, so continue to PUSH. To P-U-S-H means to Pray Until Something Happens. 

When you yield to God, with open heart and mind and you keep the Faith, you experience ENRICHMENT.

E — Enrichment of life. Jesus says: “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you REST… for my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mat. 11:28-30). Jesus promises that everything will turn out right if we remain in him. Let Him take charge of your life. He will direct your path and order your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). Commit whatever you do to Him and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3).

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