Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gospel text for Sunday 6 July 2014

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30        Jesus said to the crowd, "To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
`We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.'For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a demon'; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."

At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 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.”
Reflection   Caught between a rock and a hard place. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Basically Jesus is saying, nothing pleases these people! They hear great music and do not respond with joy. They witness great suffering and do not respond with sadness. All they do is sit around in coffee shops, flaunt their intelligence and complain.    Quite the social commentary two thousand years ago and today.
But Jesus does not leave us there, stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place. Jesus offers a way into freedom. “Come to me… take my yoke… learn from me…” The thing is, we cannot come to Jesus when we are caught up in the local social political commentary. We cannot take from Jesus when we are full of our selves. We cannot learn from Jesus when we rely on our intellect. 
Still, there is a way to freedom. We come to Jesus when we are as infants; artless, guileless and unpretentious. We take from Jesus when we yoke ourselves to him, finding our identity in him even as he finds his identity in God the Father.  We learn from Jesus when we empty our selves of our intellects. In the words of the ancient wisdom teacher Lao-Tzu, “A wise man has no extensive knowledge; he who has extensive knowledge is not a wise man.” (Tao te Ching, c550 BCE) 
Another wise man, Pope Francis, wrote, “If one has the answers to all the questions, that is proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble.” How might our world be transformed if everyone prayed for the grace to be “gentle and humble in heart?” How glorious if althogether we found “rest for our souls?” 
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