14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Theme : “Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.”
1st Reading : Zechariah 9:9-10
Responsorial Psalm : Ps 145
2nd Reading : Romans 8:9.11-13
Gospel : Matthew 11:25-30
- “Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee” was a refrain of a popular Gospel song some years back – when I was just a little boy!
- I wonder if any one remembers it?
- I will play for you now!
- Play music
- To put your hand into the hand of someone else is first of all, a gesture of intimacy
- but also, of trust, gentleness and humble acceptance!
- The invitation of Jesus to find rest in his presence is one of his most popular sayings – and sounds even better at this time of illness, loss, anxiety and worry!
- We all need – we all want – to hear this invitation to rest, peace and gentleness!
- Jesus’ invitation is not just an invitation to enjoy a restful time, but to rest in him, in his life!
- To understand, or recognise this, requires real wisdom!
- And the wisdom that really matters, is to be found among those whom the world judges to be unwise.
- Those who are considered ‘wise and understanding’ in worldly terms are often unwilling to accept God’s invitation to trust, to gentleness, to humility.
- Instead, it is ‘infants; mere children’ – or those with a childlike attitude towards God – who respond wholeheartedly to God’s ways
- But who wants to remain an infant? Don’t we all want to grow up?!
- Jesus is not suggesting we remain as infants, or childish; instead he is recommending a ‘childlike attitude’
- And there is a big difference between being ‘childlike’ and being ‘childish’:
- To be childlike is to be trusting and have an appreciation for the wonder and sacredness of life’s ordinary situations
- When we are childlike, we accept our dependence on God, knowing that we cannot be in complete control
- In contrast, being childish means to be manipulative, demanding and immature.
- Childishness comes from selfishness and an arrogant attitude and it is not confined to children – in fact it is more often to be found in adults!
- Growing up means ceasing to be dependent – and we all long for that!
- The problem is, that we so often exchange a child’s dependence on people for an adult’s dependence on things like money, alcohol, success and influence
- We substitute the wisdom of God for the wisdom of Man!
- And we eventually discover that there is, in fact, very little wisdom in these things of the world!
- Because these props are notoriously fickle
- and so, our adult world becomes filled with anxiety and stress!
- As someone said, “we end up labouring under illusions of grandeur and burdened with unrealistic targets and the heaviest load we have to carry is that of our own unfulfilled ambitions, the burden of our bruised egos.”
- That 70’s Gospel song goes on to say: “Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently…it causes me pain to know I am not the person I should be.”
- The invitation Jesus offers is an invitation to look at ourselves;
- To look at where we seek advice, guidance; and
- Where we put our trust!
- Only when we change our behaviour from childish to childlike;
- will our lost innocence and our lost paradise be restored!
- Pope Francis said, “Once you have received the refreshment and comfort of Christ, we are called in turn to become refreshment and comfort for our brothers and sisters, with a meek and bumble attitude, in imitation of the Master.”
- The Church is a place of rest for the weary;
- the place where we find encouragement and strength to face the ordinary as well as the challenging situations in our lives together
- The Church is the place for us to reach out our hands to others who suffer through poverty, homelessness and many other unjust social situations
- The Church is the community that should help us experience Christ’s peace and rest!
- Holding hands together with the man from Galilee, we will learn that our burdens are light and the yoke is easy!