Isaiah 58:9
If you remove the yoke from among you…

Reflections this week are by Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera

The Webster definition of a Yoke is “a wooden cross piece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.” Many people throughout the world feel the burden of a yoke every day. They are weighed down under the oppressive systems that strip them of their land, their rights and seek to silence their voices. They are vulnerable to sexual assault, violence and exploitation. They feel they have nowhere to turn.

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus talks about a different kind of yoke. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Instead of overloading, Jesus’ yoke provides respite and sanctuary. It takes two to be yoked and Jesus calls us to be on the other side helping to carry the weight. Interconnectedness is essential. We must walk together or the yoke will not work. This means we are not walking in front dictating which direction we go. Nor are we behind trying to catch up. We walk alongside our migrant siblings bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ. (Gal. 6:2)

Questions for reflection:

  • How do your lifestyle, opinions and actions perpetrate others’ burdens?
  • In what ways could you walk alongside so that you help to alleviate them?


Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera is an illustrator living in Tucson, AZ. She works as a volunteer with an asylum advocacy group called Save Asylum and also at a migrant welcome center, Casa Alitas. Last year she created the Way of Asylum which is a devotional Stations of the Cross. In these stations Jesus’ suffering is embodied in the people seeking asylum in our country.

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