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Finding the balance

The gospel over the last three weeks has outlined the harsh and radical demands made on us by Jesus if we are to follow him telling us that we must give up everything, even our family ties and embrace the cross if we are to give him our full attention and commitment; following Jesus is all or nothing, we cannot be the slave of two masters.

So if you found the recent gospels difficult and demanding then, they need to be balanced against what Matthew tells us today. God is a God of infinite patience and compassion as we stumble along in our efforts to unite ourselves to be fully with him he will be walking at our side advising and guiding us along the way. Whatever demands Jesus may make on our following of him, he wants to be at all times truly a source of comfort, of consolation and of forgiveness and reconciliation. Whatever demands life may be making on us, he is there too to be called on. When we are in difficulties and pain, we can ask him to take them away. Think of the yoke as a double yoke, where two oxen can work together better. We now have a lovely image of Jesus and ourselves yoked together, pulling together. “Shoulder my yoke” then becomes “Share my yoke”. Where I go, he goes along with me, pulling together with me and making it all the easier. You and Jesus finding the balance.

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