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Growing up, I was the second oldest of five boys. That means I had one brother who was the boss and three who were clueless. It was impossible to grow up with four brothers and not use the word “idiot.” With that said, I grew up, minding my own business, then, all of a sudden, I entered puberty. Let me tell you how hard it is not to look at a girl without…. No, I don’t have to tell you because you already know. This is my question: Why does Jesus make it so hard to fulfill the law? Why does He add so many “extras to the Ten Commandments? Why does He raise the standards and put the law out of reach for us? He tells us two chapters later.
Jesus is having dinner with the Pharisees and He tells them, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, you interpret the law by placing heavy burdens on peoples’ shoulders, too heavy to carry.” What? Are you kidding me? With all due respect, Lord, look who is talking. You are doing the same thing. Yes, the Pharisees require us to pay a tax on the cucumber and a head of lettuce. I’ll pay the tax because it is a lot easier than having someone humiliate me in public, which is a slap in the face. Then turn the cheek and go through the humiliation again. It is easier to pay the tax. That is a law I can handle. Jesus then goes on to explain that scribes and Pharisees are not hypocrites for placing heaving burdens on peoples’ shoulders. They are hypocrites because they put heavy burden of the law on our shoulders and do not lift a finger to help us. Jesus is different. He places burdens but helps lift the burdens. Later, our Lord will say, “Come to Me all you who are burdened, and I will give you rest for My yoke is easy and burden light.” I want you to remember the easy.
I had just returned from hospital work and Bro. Jerry said, “We have a bat in the house.” I thought he was kidding, but I turned the corner and there it was flying around the hall. Naturally, I asked, “How do you get a bat out of the house”? I went to my confreres and friends—they were all experts at getting bats out of houses. They advised me to shoot it. Knowing that was not an option, I called in professional help. The exterminator informed, over the phone, that it was very difficult to get a bat out of the house. He needed to do an evaluation, check the gutters, etc. I said, “That sounds expensive.” He assured me it was. I then went on YouTube and typed “How to get a bat out of the house.” A woman came on the screen and said, “You need to know two things: First, do not shoot the bat, and second, it is very easy. Just open the window and the bat will follow the draft of the air and fly out. If this does not work just let the bat fly around until it goes into a room. Isolate the bat by shutting the door. The bat will land on the wall or floor. Approach the bat with a plastic container, don’t worry about the bat flying away, he can’t see you. Cover the bat with the container and slide a piece of cardboard between the opening of the container and the wall. Once the bat is in captivity, bring the container outside and let the bat go free. Remember the bat is your friend because he will eat all the nasty mosquitoes around your home.” I thought that sounds too easy, but I will try it. Sure enough, the bat flew into the laundry room, I shut the door and there it was resting on the floor. Easy. Everyone asked, “How did you do it?” I said. “It was easy.” What was the word Jesus used to describe our burdens? Easy.
Here is the key to success: Go to the right person with your burdens. If you have a few problems, difficulties, maybe a “mission impossible,” go to the right person. I thought getting the bat out of the house was going to be impossibly-hard. I went to the right person and it was easy. Jesus says, “Come to Me, I will give you everything you need.” He gives us incentive, motivation, grace, a community of believers, faith, and help from above. Jesus offers us everything we need to fulfill the law easily. Come to Me, My yoke is easy.Back to All Homilies