Homily (Reflection) for the Fourteenth Sunday of the Year (A) (09th July, 2017) on the Gospel
Zech 9:9-10;Ps 144:1-2.8-11.13-14 (R.v.1);
A friend once asked Samuel B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph: “Professor, while you were at your experiments, did you ever come to a stage when you did not know what to do next?”
“Oh, yes, more than once,” answered Morse. “And at such times, what did you do next?” “I must answer you in confidence,” replied the inventor modestly, “but it is a matter of which the public knows nothing. Whenever I could not see my way clearly I knelt down and prayed to God for light and understanding.”
“And did the light and understanding come”? asked the friend. “Yes,” declared Morse, “And may I tell you that when flattering honours came to me from America and Europe on account of the invention which bears my name, I never felt I deserved them. I had made a valuable application of electricity, not because I was superior to other men, but solely because God who meant it for mankind, must reveal it to someone, and was pleased to reveal it to me.”
Topic: Christ’s burden.
Jesus tells us in today’s gospel, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). Again in the psalms we read, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Ps 55:22).
These and other similar verses considered in isolation may lead to the conclusion many have today that following Christ shields one from every evil. However, today’s gospel reads further, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:29-30).
As those who belong to different Christian denominations are increasing, it is important that we understand our calling lest we might run in vain, cf. Gal 2:2. Christians are free people but we must not use it a pretext for evil, cf. 1Pt 2:16. The call to be Christians is not a call to be freed from every evil. It is a call to self denial. Hence Jesus warned, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23; cf. Matt 16:24; Mk 8:34). Whoever picks his/her cross and follow Christ will certainly learn from Him as He instructs us in today’s gospel, cf. Matt 11:29.
In this life, both the virtuous and the wicked may suffer. However, the difference is that some crosses (burdens and yokes) have Christ’s insignia on them whereas many have not. Christ’s insignia on any cross is a mark quality. It is a mark that a cross is not worthless. Hence Jesus assures us, “Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:39; cf. Matt 16:25; Mk 8:35; Lk 9:24). Again, He promises all who will lose anything for His sake and for the sake of the gospel a hundredfold and most importantly eternal life, cf. Mk 10:29.
Many often think they know better than Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, cf. (Jn 14:6). Whenever one lowers the burden of sin, he/she takes up that of Christ. And in carrying the burden with Christ’s insignia, is always the support. Christ warns, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Lk 16:13).
Sometimes it might look like all hope is lost. It will not be bad to follow the example of Samuel B. Morse. You can never pray too much. Rely wholly on Christ who enlightens every person especially when you think that all hope is gone. Remember His response, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2Cor 12:9).
Bible Reading: Is 1:2-20; 1Pt 3:8-22; 4:12-19; Phil 2:12-18; 2Cor 12:1-10.
Thought for today: Which burden do you bear – Christ’s or devils?
Let us pray: God our Father help us to remember always that we can have rest only in you. Give us also the grace to be always in you – Amen.
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