Today is December 7, 2011 the Feast of St. Ambrose. The readings today are from Matthew. “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.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
I thought I would reference the whole passage from today’s reading to highlight the idea of “yoke.” We all (oops…too general…) rather some of us know what a “yoke” is. For those of you who don’t “a yoke is a wooden beam, normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs, as oxen usually do” (from our friends at Wikipedia). I double checked it because you can’t always believe everything written on Wikipedia. It’s like blindly accepting the truth from Fox just because they said it on the TV. Do your homework!
So anyway, a yoke is usually used with two animals to pull something, like a cart or a wagon. The animals work together to accomplish the task. The animals are usually the same species. An ox and a squirrel would have a hard time accomplishing the goal. So too with this experimental thing we have going in this country called equality and opportunity.
When we pull together, the job gets done and neither of us is pulling alone. We pull together. It’s a two person community multiplied by 300 million or so. To make it work, we work together. The obvious question is “how’s that working out?”. My feeling is that we as Americans have a collective responsibility to help each other. If one is lucky enough to get a tax break, and another is not and never the twain shall meet, we aren’t working together. Capitalism can work for all, but not the “system” we have now where the wealth of the few has grown exponentially for the last three decades while wealth of the middle class has flattened. When this happens we have left capitalism and moved into the area of crony capitalism. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives. The yoke pulling is not equal.
It’s time to “Occupy the Manger!”
and so it goes….