Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

Rites, norms, liturgies. Some of them are undoubtedly useful, others have lost all meaning with the passage of time.

However, many of the latter are still imposed on people with the same force as the fundamental dogmas of Christianity.

And the only thing they achieve is that we have gone back to the times of the scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus reproves because “they tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23:4), and because “their teachings are merely human rules” (Mark 7:7).

In the face of this we find the message of Jesus. A message that preserves all the essence of faith, but adapted to the needs of human beings.

The whole Law of God can be summed up in two short sentences: love God above all things, and love your neighbor as yourself.

This supposes that our life must be guided by the love that God has manifested to us. Our service should be a natural consequence of the love with which God loves us. And our relationship with others must be permeated with his holiness and that love, with firmness about our faith, but with respect and mercy.

It is truly an easy yoke and a light burden, especially when we have the help of the Holy Spirit.

But how sad that the leaven of the ritualism of the scribes and Pharisees continues to infiltrate the Church!

So it is not surprising that when you present the Gospel, people do not see freedom, but oppression and restrictive rules (and many times, arbitrariness).

Perhaps this happens because we have been more concerned with living religion than with living Christ.

We have placed more emphasis on accusing than on loving and presenting the Good News of Salvation. In talking more about hell than heaven.

As if our message were addressed to stubborn apostates and not to lost, tired and hopeless people.

Therefore, let us not impose on the lost any burden other than that of drawing near to God.

The rest of the burdens were carried by Christ on the cross.

Cover photo by Ben White on Unsplash