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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – Homily

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Zechariah 9:9-10
Psalm 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14 (1)
Romans 8:9, 11-13
Matthew 11:25-30
July 5, 2020

Jesus gives praise to the Father. 

The psalmist speaks of praising, extoling, and blessing our God and King.

Jesus praises God for, while He had “hidden these things from the wise and the learned,” He “revealed them to little ones.

The psalmist praises and gives thanks to God because “The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.”  “The LORD lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.

We do well to thank God for what He has done for us and we speak of his might, sharing with others the blessings God has bestowed on us.

I’d like to talk about six words in today’s gospel.  They are spread throughout the passage.  The words are reveal, knows, yoke, easy and light, and rest.

Reveal – Jesus speaks of what the Father has hidden from the “wise and the learned” yet revealed to the “little ones.”  The wise and learned may think they know God.  They think they know all they need to.  They are not open to God teaching them.  The little ones are open.  So, God “reveals” these things to help the little ones know him.

Know – That brings us to the second word, “know”.  We can “know” facts and figures.  We can “know” rules in the sense that we memorize them but this is not the sense of the word “know” that Jesus uses the word in today’s readings.  Jesus speaks of how He “knows” the Father and the Father “knows” him.  Here, knowing goes far beyond human knowledge of facts, figures, and rules.  It is to know each other of a far deeper level.  When we know God in this way, we know how much He loves us and we praise him.

Yoke – a yoke is used by farmers who use animals to pull the plow.  We might then associate it with work.  It might seem like a burden.  However, the yoke is not designed to add burden (work) to the farm animal.  It actually makes their job easier.  In fact, that is the very purpose of a “yoke”, to help do the work.

The Pharisees (aka “the wise and the learned”) had made the Law a burden and never lifted a finger to help the people in their burden.  They found great difficulty in living out the Lord.  What the Father reveals to the little ones is how the yoke of his commandments actually help us through life.  Taking God’s yoke upon us helps us endure the suffering of this world.

Rest, easy, & light – I think people tend to look at these words and think it means they will have no burden but it doesn’t say that.  Yes, Jesus tells us to come to him and He give us rest.  However, “easy” and “light” do not equate to no burden.  What they do indicate is that life is far easier with Jesus in it than without.  Jesus helps us carry our burdens, He lightens our load.

What do you need “rest” from?  Where do you need Jesus to help carry your load?

How are you doing with the Coronavirus?  We pray for an end to the pandemic and for God’s guidance for our secular and religious leaders in dealing with it.  We pray for all the front-line and essential workers.

What else?  Are you struggling with work?  Finding your present job too difficult?  Do you have a job?  Do you have enough to provide for your family?

Are you burdened by racist discrimination?  Or maybe you want to help fight against racism but don’t know how and feel burdened?  Ask God to help.

Are you burdened by illness? 

Are you burdened by earthly attachment?  Have the very things that you thought should make things easier become a burden in themselves?

Are you burdened by war and violence in the world?

Are you burdened by sin? (Bring it to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.)

God wants to help.  God is eager to help.  Jesus extends us his invitation, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

We need to let go of the flesh to live in the spirit.  God gives us the Law and the Spirit as yokes to help us.  Do we open our whole lives to him, or do we hinder God’s aid by only allowing him into the parts of our life that we want changed?  Let go of things to live in the Spirit.

God blesses us and we praise his name for ever.  We praise him as our king and our God. 

2 Comments

  1. Linda House says:

    I have a question about today’s reading from Romans. They speak about being in the spirit, the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. Does the Spirit mean the Holy Spirit as they are the 3 parts of the Trinity? Or does it mean our spirit as what’s in our soul.

  2. Fr. Jeff says:

    Good question. When it talks about the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ, it is referring to the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father and the Son (as we profess in the Creed). The Holy Spirit dwells in us beginning in our Baptism. We need to choose to follow the Spirit every day to truly live. I think the last sentence relates to your comment of the “spirit as what’s in our soul.”

    Peace,

    Fr. Jeff

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