14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Zach. 9:9-10 Romans 8:9, 11-13 Matthew 11:25-30
Theme: Accepting the Invitation of Jesus
The readings we have today, present to us a message of hope. This message of hope is most relevant to us today, taking into consideration what the world went through recently, during the corona virus pandemic. Our situation can be likened to that of the Israelites in today’s first reading. As they were faced with a situation of uncertainties and hopelessness coming back from the exile, so we also faced uncertainties because of the pandemic. Thus, we can accept the message of hope Zachariah brings to us today, to be strengthened and encouraged to face the future with confidence, because God has taken control of everything.
In the second reading, St. Paul reminds us of 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 must 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 lives in the spirit are the key to our salvation. In view of this, let us strive to live lives that are rooted in the spirit as against the flesh, if we truly want to attain salvation at the end of our earthly pilgrimage.
The gospel draws attention to two wonderful attributes needed by every good disciple: humility and gentleness. These attributes are what distinguishes the angels from the devils. These are dispositions we are called to always carry with us. Hence, Jesus would say in the gospel of today “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest”. For any to yield to this call of Jesus, such a person must wear the garment of humility and gentleness. Therefore, I wish to ask, as you take your worries to Jesus, do you take them to him in humility or as a complain? Humility is an essential ingredient to seeking the face of God in prayers. God is expecting you, take all your worries to him in prayer and allow him to give you rest. Secondly, Jesus says “shoulder my yoke; it is easy, and my burden light”. 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; and gave rise to the resurrection. 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 costs? 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. Amen. Peace be with you!