Continuing on with these wonderful words in St Matthew’s Gospel –
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Mt 11.28-30
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Take airo means to elevate, to raise up. So we step up and elevate all that we are and take the yoke. The idea of a yoke suggests submission but when we look at the Greek meaning, it is more suggestive of equality. The word ‘yoke’ is zygos from the root of zeugnumi (to join, especially by a “yoke”) but it also means a balance, a pair of scales. This means that we raise ourselves up as balanced people who feel equal, who give dignity to the human being.
When we raise ourselves up and we balance ourselves, than we can learn from the I AM (in the first post we saw that it is the I AM talking). Learn is manthano which means to learn by use, to put into practice, not just learn with the mind
“for I am gentle and lowly in heart” I am, ego eimi, the I AM, is gentle. It might seem frightening at first but is it gentle; this is the gentleness of spirit, it is the meekness that arises in us when we connect with our I AM. Lowly is tapeinos, an ancient Greek word of uncertain derivation, which we take to mean low or poor. Being meek and poor points us to the Beatitudes. Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the meek. One aspect of this is our ability to recognise and accept that we are meek (lowly) and poor, and we feel this in our heart, which is the centre of all physical and spiritual life is not weakness but strength. We are not tempted to puff ourselves up with egotism.
“and you will find rest for your souls.” Find, heurisko, means to discover within ourselves a way to rest anapausis which means a cessation of labor. It is like finding peace within our souls. Soul is psyche, the seat of feeling, thinking and willing. When we bring peace about in our soul, and we have to do it by stopping all the activity which undermines us, we will also find great strength.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” So when discover the equality that comes with the yoke we also see that it is easy, chrestos, fit for use and manageable. In other words, we can handle it. The burden phortion, something we bear, becomes bearable, it is light elaphros, light in weight, it quickens us and give us agility.
We shouldn’t kid ourselves about the I AM, it is daunting, but if we can find the courage within us to work with it we will be elevated and strengthened beyond our expectations. Believing this is the best way to start. Recognizing how weary it makes us feel, how weighed down, is a sign that we are on our way to personally break through the barriers that separate us from our spiritual self, our I AM.
Painting: Epiphany by Irakli Parjiani