Becoming Human

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me" (Matt 11:28). 

The mystery of the Incarnation is that God came among us to reveal divine life by showing us how to be human. Recall the famous words of St. irenaeus, "A human being fully alive is the glory of God." Jesus was that human being, and his mission was to open our eyes to the glory within authentic human life.

Jesus rejoiced to utter the words in Matt 11:25: "Thank you, Father, for revealing to little ones" -- ordinary people -- "what you have hidden from the wise and clever." He goes on to invite anyone who finds life burdensome: "Come to me, get in the harness with me, learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 

How many of us are busy and active, but feel off balance, out of kilter, anxious and at odds with our own bodies, out of sync with our deeper feelings and needs, constantly questioning and criticizing our own thoughts? What Jesus demonstrated was the natural way to live, This begins with making God the central focus on our day. Because God is the source of our lives, if we go with the flow and move with the promptings of the Spirit, whatever happens we will never be outside of the grace that surrounds us constantly.

The image of the yoke captures the sense of being in relationship with Jesus the way draft animals pull their burden together, sharing the load and moving in rhythm. Jesus invites us to learn from him how to live, for his human ways reflected the creative intent of human life as it came from the hand of God from the beginning. Christian discipleship was af first not regarded as a religion or cult but as a "way" to live. 

We await Christmas with this shared life in mind. To embrace the Incarnation -- God with us -- is to accept our human condition not as a burden but as the daily path to God.