Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Reflection for July 9, 2017

by Sister Jane Riha

We sense God’s peace and a lack of anxiety as we listen to the Word of God in the Scriptures this Sunday. Our world seems to be in a chaotic state at this time in history.   In the midst of that chaos, the Lord speaks to us tenderly about meekness and humility.  

Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves." Jesus invites us to learn both meekness and humility, a pair of virtues that belong together. Meekness includes the acceptance of difficulties without bitterness, anger or resentment. Humility, its partner, calls us to a genuine sense of self as loved by God. It leads to a powerful restfulness in the Lord as we journey through life.  

People of prayer and faith know that the God of meekness and humility is a powerful source of strength. The Lord invites us to take on the gentle yoke of His love and to accept life’s circumstances. All of us carry some sort of burden. Sometimes the burden is very heavy, sometimes it is short-lived. We are assured in the Gospel that God will give us rest if we are open to trust God’s unfailing presence with us.

Let us pray this week for a gentle more peaceful relationship among the peoples of the world. Let us pray for our country and our leaders that they may learn God’s message as they carry a yoke that may be at times very heavy. Let there be peace on earth!


Sister Jane:
Very Inspiring reflection......Thank you

Dear Sister Jane,
Wow! Many heartfelt thanks to you for this week's intensely profound reflection. Hearing this Gospel read many times over the years and having prayed that dear and familiar prayer,'Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine,' the depth and breadth to those keenly simple words~ a real calling to living genuinely and intentionally~ had somehow managed to escape from its' rightful place in the heart of my soul, having failed as I did, until now, to give those words the prayerful meditation and pondering it so well deserves. Thank you so much! You wrote, God spoke! God bless you! ~Kate

Amen! Thank you for the inspiring words, Sister.

Interestingly - and surprisingly - I found the use of the word "yoke" 90 times throughout the Bible by doing a Keyword Search on, telling me that the People JESUS was speaking to had a very clear contrasting image in the way JESUS used the word, compared to how enslaving and burdensome the typical 'yoke' would be for both man and beast in Biblical Times. JESUS wants us to 'share his yoke!' To become 'partnered with him' in the work of salvation, which includes liberating all who are shackled under systems of oppression and injustice, perpetuated by violence!

"WoW," indeed! (And in deed) What a mission we have! Truly we can never do it or go it alone! It is always JESUS' yoke - and 'WE" share it with him!


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