The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#409) declares: “The whole of man’s history has been the story of our combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day.”
Mankind lives in a constant struggle with evils such as sin, sorrow, suffering, pain, worry and fear. To rephrase the above statement from the Catechism: Man lives his life in a constant battle or war with evil.
The atheist will look at the evils in the world and say, “If there is a loving God, and if He creates and controls all things, why would he permit such evils to exist in our world?”
We, the faithful, recognize and acknowledge the fact that God does indeed control all things. We know and understand that He causes the good. But we also know and understand that He permits the evil, in order to cause a greater good to come from it. By doing so, He teaches us to have absolute confidence and faith in the providence of God.
Many Christians will, at times, feel guilty or sinful, because circumstances or events may cause them to question their faith. But we, the faithful, have a moral obligation to question our faith. How else can we be expected to grow in our faith, and grow in our personal relationship with our Savior, unless we question and seek the answers? That’s why prayer and meditation on the Sacred Scriptures is so important in the life of the faithful.
In the Gospel of Matthew (11:28-29), Jesus beckons us: “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 yourself. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
We must remember that we are not alone in our struggles in life. By our baptism into the family of God, we have become one with Jesus. We, therefore, need not carry our burdens alone. Yokes, during the time that Jesus walked the earth, were tailor-made to fit a pair of oxen properly. The Greek word for “easy”, in the original Greek text, can also be translated as “well-fitting”. Jesus used the analogy of a yoke to help explain to us how we can exchange our burden of evils in life, that we seem to be bearing with little or no assistance, to a life well fitted to, or yoked in harmony with, the entire mystery of Christ’s presence within.
Our created purpose in life is to grow in, and promote, the infinite love of God. The evil one will use any means possible to interfere with, and disrupt, this process. Christ invites us to “Take My yoke upon you”, to remind us that we need not pull our burdens all alone. By accepting His invitation, we will find that the yoke is already custom made to fit well. And by being yoked in harmony with the creator of the entire universe, we will find that not only will our burdens become much easier and lighter, we will also be learning from His meek and humble heart.