Take My Yoke – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet Nguyen’s Homily July 5, 2020

“Everyone in some ways likes a drama don’t they? We pay attention to dramas, even daily television. That’s when all the dramas are on. In our culture today we’re always talking about our own story. What is your story and what dictates it? Is your drama or the story of your life, is it being dictated by your ego, your ego-drama or is it dictated by God, the Theo-drama?

In today’s readings, the first reading in the readings today, Israel was looking for a king and it would be sent to them, but not a king to destroy, but king of peace. That king is Christ and in the Gospel today he reveals to himself his kingship, his relationship with his father, it shows that everything comes from him and everything from God to us was given to Christ, but Christ says, ‘All those who labor and are heavy burdened, come to me and I will give you rest.’ That’s all of us. In some ways we’re all enslaved to our own egos our own sins. Think about the things we grasp for in life to fulfill ourselves. Maybe it’s status, money, sex, power, the little bit we grasp for is never enough. St. Augustine once said, ‘Our hearts are restless until they rest in you Lord.’ And he says that in every one of us there’s a God shaped hole in our hearts that can’t be filled with anything else but God, so it yearns for God, but we’re enslaved in some ways to other things in our lives. One of those things that you know you’re enslaved to, that burdens you in your life that you labor over that never fulfills you. This is what Christ is calling out to us, all of us who labor and our lives are burdened, but then the paradox is that he says, ‘Take my yoke upon you.’ When I hear take my yoke, that doesn’t sound like rest. That sounds like work to me, but I think the thing that Christ is saying is that we try to do things ourselves within the ego-drama of our lives. Everything is about us. It looks through our eyes. Everything is taken for our wanting and that’s burdensome, but he says, ‘Take my yoke upon you. Learn from it.’ Maybe realize that our lives aren’t all about us, but if we take his yoke, we don’t have to take on the burden of our lives on our own that Christ is the model. Actually, he’s the one right next to us carrying the load with us and if we do that, if we trust in God’s yoke and learn from it, it will give us the true peace, the true rest that we seek in laboring all these things we do in our lives.

Well what does that mean for us? It means, what dictates your life? What decides what you do, what you see, what you say? Is it your own ego, the ego-drama or is it of God? And that’s just not religious things that we dictate by God, but everything. Everything, what we watch, our politics, our sex, what we do, everything, God is asking us to give it all to Him and we will find the rest, the peace in our life that we always seek. So as you come before the Lord today where Christ is truly present before you, let us continue to ask the Lord for the strength and the courage to examine our lives, to see where the ego takes over in our lives, to ask the Lord for the strength to carry His yoke, the courage, so that we can seek the peace that we yearn for in our hearts. Amen.”