Wednesday, July 19, 2017

“Meekly, Humbly Embraced” by Beth DeCristofaro

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Dear Lord, you have called me by my name.
You have carved me in the palm of your hand.
May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.
Your death on the cross has set me free.
I can live joyously and freely
without fear of death.
Your mercy knows no bounds.
I am surrounded by your loving presence, Lord,
But I am aware of my fragility and weakness.
Thank you that I can face my shortcomings
In your merciful embrace.

Me, I’m working on meek and humble of heart.  These seem to be key for me as I attempt to accept Jesus’ yoke.  He accepted humanness as a yoke with all its frailties, tribulations and dangers.  He carried the burden of my sin as he willingly stumbled under the cross.  Working in healthcare I meet many people who have yokes of disease that are not easy, burdens of incapacity that are far from light.  My dear friend who is a teacher frequently requests prayers for students whose burden of troubled families weigh so heavily that coping and academic skills are severely challenged.  The mothers of Aleppo, Mosul and other besieged cities bear yokes of fear and burdens of pain and abandonment.  Being human is often difficult and Jesus’ does not chastise us for bending under the strain.  Instead, meekly, humbly and with mercy, Jesus helps us bear i.

Humility opens me to declare God’s glory rather than my own.  Being humble implies succumbing to God’s will, God who wants so much more for me than I can ever imagine.    Jesus humbly told the disciples again and again that he came not to do his own will but the will of his father.

Meekness has to do with not being provoked easily.  It does not mean doormat.  A meek person knows how to channel anger into justice, reconciliation, healing and right.  Being meek is “what would Jesus do”.  Jesus meekly put the Word before the self-serving words of the temple leaders.

Without meekness or humility, we struggle unproductively and foist our anger, frustration, hurts onto those around us.  Others fall into helplessness and hopelessness without the reviving potency of Jesus’ meekness and the hope of Jesus’ humility.  What situations cause me to cling to false control or agenda?  What practices might help me build humility and meekness?  What might I forgo in order to yoke myself to Jesus? 

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