St. Bonaventure became the master-general of the Franciscans 31 years after St. Francis of Assisi himself. He was renowned for his learning and later named a Doctor (or great teacher) of the Church, yet he was also humble. When the pope sent his representatives to inform Bonaventure that he had been named a bishop and cardinal they found Bonaventure washing the dishes. The saint told them to hang the red hat on a tree and to wait in the garden until he had finished the task.
St. Bonaventure reassures us, that whatever our gifts, holiness is within our daily reach. “A constant fidelity in small things,” he once wrote, “is a great and heroic virtue.”
In today’s gospel, Jesus invites us to take his yoke. This burden is restful, easy and light, yet we must be humble; we cannot carry it without Christ by our side. Beatitude (true happiness) is within everyone’s reach, but we cannot possess it without God.
As St. Bonaventure says:
No one can be made happy unless he rise above himself, not by an assent of the body, but of the heart. But we cannot rise above ourselves unless a higher power lifts us up. And divine aid is available to those who seek it from their hearts, humbly and devoutly.