Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Why Didn't I Notice That?
I was on my way back from the book store this morning, having replenished my stack of used books (buy 20, get 1 free), when I caught the end of Fr. John Riccardo’s hour on Ave Maria Radio. I don’t know the focus of the whole talk, but when I turned on the car radio he was speaking about how Jesus is there for us when we need Him.
Fr. John spoke about how Jesus said: “My burden is easy and my yoke light.” He explained that Jesus was referring to the yoke typically worn by a pair of oxen, who pull together. When Jesus said that His yoke was light, it referred to the fact that He helps us carry our burdens. We pull through the difficult times together, “and,” Fr. John explained, “if we find ourselves feeling like we just can’t bear the burdens of our life, perhaps we need to ask ourselves the question: are we pulling too much of the load? Jesus is there to take some of the burden off our shoulders, if we let Him.”
That is always a good reminder, especially for those days when nothing seems to go right.
But then Fr. John continued. “You know that in the movie the Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson deliberately illustrates those words of Jesus. When Simon is depicted as helping Jesus to carry His cross, something strange happens that is not seen in other similar movies. Every time Jesus falls with His cross, Simon falls. We think of the story as Simon helping Jesus with His cross, but in the movie it is Jesus who is bearing the heavier load, easing Simon’s burden. And so when Jesus falls, all the weight of the cross then transfers to Simon, who cannot bear it and so he also falls.” Even in His Passion, Jesus was carrying the cross for us, carrying part of our load.
Huh! I watched that movie every Holy Week since it was first released. Why didn’t I ever notice that subtle message?