May the Lord give you peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is on 9th July 2023. We celebrate the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We reflect on Zechariah 9:9-10; the second reading is from Romans 8:9, 11-13; and the Gospel from Matthew 11:25-30.
The theme of the Sunday Liturgy is God’s peace is the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who believe in Jesus, can live by the Spirit and trust in God through humility. To experience peace, we need to come closer to Jesus, lean on Him and learn from Him.
The first reading speaks of Jesus, the humble servant and the Only Son of God who brings, offers and secures peace to those who are humble before God. As the people of Israel returned from Babylonian exile, all they witnessed was hopelessness and fear of the future. One of them who walk along with the people was the Prophet, Zechariah. His name tells it all. Zechariah means God remembers. God remembers everything we go through and strengthens us always. We are not a burden to God at all even though at times we feel God is a burden in our life.
“See, your king shall come to you; a just saviour is he, meek, and riding on a donkey.” (Zec.9:9). Humble and meek servant of God comes with peace to carry the burdens and pains of the past and the present to offer a joyful and peaceful future. A loyal king comes with serenity and humility, unlike the royal kings who appeared with their noise and voice. New Testament authors relate this prophecy to Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:4–5; Jn 12:14–15).
When we are tired of many things in life, we all look for rest and rejuvenation. One way or another, we too are tired of being human and find it meaningless to be humane. God wanted to restore the life of the people of Israel when they repented returning from captivity.
St. Paul reiterates in the second reading that life we live in the Spirit guarantees peace, security, and sanctity throughout our lives.
When we live someone’s dreams, wishes, and ambitions, we become tired, burdened, and broken. Our brokenness and pain mostly come from bodily attachment to people, places, and false promises. “By the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Rom.8:13).
We have become a new being, creation, and self, through the Sacrament of Baptism. Yet, we lean on the deeds of the flesh that make us tired, timid, toasted, trespassed and even dependent on enjoying the pleasures that are assured and offered.
There are only two options left spiritually: either we live in the spirit or be led by the desires of the flesh. We cannot be half and half.
In the gospel, Jesus consoles and invites us to experience His offer of peace and rest for all those who need it. “For I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mt.11:29).
Humility is the mother of all virtues and virtuous life. The more we become like little children open and receptive, we experience peace, rest, and reassurance in our life. Our arrogance, pride, pretence, and all-knowing attitudes cause pain and burden on the innocent lives of others. We all are carrying some burden either spiritually, physically, psychologically, or professionally.
Sin and Selfish attitudes and behaviours are the only burdens that make us feel and believe that God and others are burdens to us.
Our burdens make us tired of loving and showing compassion to those in need of consolation and courage. We feel weak physically when we are wounded and broken spiritually and psychologically. Jesus invites us to experience God in humility and broken humanity. Only our childlike attitude could accept the Good News and bring about the change we require to experience the rest Jesus promises.
The soul remains unhealed in the unaffected, uncared, and dehumanized environment of life and mindset. Let us not give up finding shelters for our souls and sanctuaries of love, affection, and compassion for those in need.
We will never become a burden to God in any moment of our life. May we endeavour to unburden loads of others and feel the meaning and fruitfulness of our lives? Have a lovely day.