for Sunday, July 6, 2014
Our God is meek and humble of heart! Far too often our ideas of God are as
a powerful force and as a force that is not very friendly to us. Yet the
first reading today, from the Book of Zechariah, is clear that the king who
will come to us, a just savior, is meek, riding on an ass, on a colt, the
foal of an ass. This imagine is taken up on Palm Sunday when Jesus enters
Jerusalem on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. Everyone is exuberant
and full of joy, but still thinking that this is a worldly kind of savior.
Perhaps we also today want a savior who will come and free the world from
wars, from strife, from murders, from injustices.
Actually, Jesus can do all of that: free the world from wars, from strife,
from murders and from injustices. Yet Jesus only does it insofar as He
changes the hearts of people. We still prefer magic where we don't have to
do the work. The salvation that Jesus brings is a salvation that insists
on conversion of heart leading to conversion of action.
So Jesus tells us in the Gospel today, from Saint Matthew: Learn from me
for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves.
Truly the only rest we have in this life is in giving ourselves over
completely to Jesus and to trying to follow Him, to walk in His ways. When
we follow Jesus, we invite His Spirit to possess our souls. If we do not
want the Spirit of Jesus, then we are not following Jesus at all. Inviting
the Spirit to possess our souls implies that we will continue to struggle
with evil and with all that is not of God in our lives. This struggle only
ends with our death.
Honestly, if we want to follow the Lord, it is a difficult path and yet
gives us rest because we know that we are on the right path. It is
accepting sufferings that we know that we are sharing in the salvation of
the world with Jesus. From the outside, we cannot always tell who is a
follower of Jesus. Once we begin to speak to others, we hear from them the
motivations of their lives and it becomes clear to us: this person is
spend his or her life striving to follow the Lord!
Jesus Himself invites us today to come to Him, especially if we are
laboring and burdened. Let us walk in the way of the Lord.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Zechariah 9.9-10
Second Reading: Romans 8.9, 11-13
Gospel: Matthew 11.25-30
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: