Zachariah 9:9-10 Romans 8:9, 11-13 Mathew 11:25-30
Theme: Accepting the invitation of Jesus
Today is the 14th Sunday of the year (A) in ordinary time. The readings we have today, presents to us a message of hope; especially during this period of the pandemic that no one is sure when it is going to come to an end. It has greatly influenced different aspects of our lives and the way we do things in the world. This can be likened to the situation of the Israelites in today’s 1st reading. Coming back from exile to meet the ruins that was left of what they had before going into exile. They were faced with a situation of uncertainties and hopelessness. The prophecy of the prophet Zachariah is a message of hope, to strengthen them by encouraging them that the future is bright and they should not despair. The picture that is painted by the prophet is fulfilled totally in the person of Jesus.
In the 2nd reading, the assertion of St. Paul to the Romans is a reminder to you and I about the type of life we are expected to lead. We are encouraged to live in the spirit if we truly want to be united with God. Thus, we have to strive to ensure that we put the spirit of the flesh to an end in our lives. It is true that we are in the world, but we must always remember that we do not belong to the world. Our lives must not be guided by the whims and caprices of the flesh, lest we end up destroying ourselves. Suffice it to say that our life in the spirit is the key to our salvation. In view of this, let us strive to live a life that is rooted in the spirit as against the flesh, if we truly want to attain salvation at the end of our earthly pilgrimage here on earth.
Jesus in today’s gospel, points out the fact that if we truly want to be good disciples, we need to emulate his humility and gentleness. These are wonderful attributes that we need in our lives. Thus, we need the unassuming lifestyle of infants. This will give us the disposition of little children, which Jesus admires so much. The three invitations presented to us by Jesus in today’s gospel, calls us to action. “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest”. Jesus is presenting us with an opportunity to bring all our worries and anxieties to him and he will give us rest. What is that situation in your life that has overwhelmed you? Is it your health situation, renewing your house rent, paying your child’s school fees, and many more? He is expecting you, take all of them to him in prayer and allow him to give you rest. Secondly, Jesus says “shoulder my yoke; it is easy, and my burden light”. Dear friends in Christ, how much price are you willing to pay as a cost of discipleship? Jesus went through pains, challenges and difficulties that eventually ended on the cross. What is your take about the cross? Are you ready for whatever is thrown at you as a disciple of Christ, or you run away from such situations at all cost? We must learn to make this journey of faith, trusting in God.
Lastly, he said “learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. He is saying that amidst the difficulties and challenges of life, if we give him a chance in our lives and are united with him, we will find rest. Like St. Augustine would say, “our hearts are restless until they rest in you”. May God grant us the grace to accept his invitation. Peace be with you. Amen.