It is 5th July 2020. We celebrate the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings are from 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, are able to live by the Spirit and trusting 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. “See, your king shall come to you; a just savior 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 so as to offer a joyful and peaceful future. A loyal king comes with serenity and humility unlike the royal kings 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).
Zechariah means God remembers. When the people of Israel witnessed the destruction and ruins of their temple and cities, the consoling prophecy from Zechariah offered hope and peace in the hearts of people to rely on God. When we are tired of many things in life, we all look for rest and rejuvenation. One way or another, we too are tired being in our homes, confinement, lockdown, and being afraid of the pandemic for a long time. God wanted to restore the life of people of Israel when they repented returning from the captivity.
In the second reading, St. Paul reiterates that life we live in the Spirit guarantees peace, security and sanctity throughout out lives. When we live someone’s dream, wishes and ambition, 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, self, through the Sacrament of Baptism. Yet, we lean on the deeds of the flesh that make us tired, timid, toasted and trespass and even dependent enjoying the pleasures that is assured and offered. The responsorial Psalm praises, “I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.” (Ps.145:1). There are only two options left spiritually: either we live in the spirit or to 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 are in need of 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. More we become like little children open and receptive, we experience peace, rest and reassurance in our life. Our arrogance, pride, pretention, and all-knowing attitudes causes pain and burden on the innocent lives of the other. We all are carrying some burden either spiritually, physically, psychologically or professionally. 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.
Many are broken and bruised during this pandemic than ever in the modern history. The middle-class families with familiar skyrocketing prices of necessities, the poor with the hunger and thirst, millions of vulnerable and voiceless laborers fired from the menial job, the covid-19 patients with pain and suffocation, the doctors and caregivers in forefront with fear and faith saving the patients during the pandemic, and the helpless, the unappreciated, the exhausted, the stressful, the squeezed, the sandwiched in the family, institutions and communities, the isolated, the immigrants facing with the harassing and de-humanizing governments and the list is endless carrying burden and brokenness looking for a place, a heart, a home to rest a while. We are those homes, hearts, and spaces for the restless and the sleepless people around us. The rheumatism in 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. May the Lord help us find the rest in Him to avail ourselves and our life a shade for the exhausted humanity around. Have a lovely day.