Learning from Jesus, Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), July 3, 2011 Audio Homily

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Anthony of Padua Church, New Bedford, MA
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
July 3, 2011
Zec 9:9-10, Ps 145:1-2 8-11 13-14, Rom 8:9 11-13, Mt 11:25-30

To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click at the bottom of the page. The following text guided this homily:

  • Learn from me
  • Jesus reveals us to ourselves and makes straight the path.
  • He came down from heaven to earth in order to be able to say to us, “Follow me!”
  • He seeks to teach us continuously in life, but we need to have the right dispositions to learn. Today he points to a few of them as he seeks to teach us to path to the rest our souls need.
  • First is humility
    • Not the wise and the clever but the childlike.
    • Why can’t the “wise and the intelligent” see? It’s not because of their intelligence. B16. It’s because sometimes of pride, that we know all the answers. Next week we’ll talk about the hardened soil.
    • In order to be taught by Jesus we need to grow in humility, to know that we need him to teach us, that we don’t know everything we need to know.
    • He tells us to learn from him who is meek and humble of heart.
  • Second is trust
    • Childlike are those who trust in what their parents teach. Teenagers begin to dispute everything. “What do my parents know?” Often in college, we begin to dispute even the teachers, “What does my professor know?” In our culture, we are now disputing everyone’s authority to teach anything, as we value emotions and opinions more than we do the truth.
    • We need to recover this trust in his ability to teach us with authority, even when he teaches us things that are hard: Eucharist, forgiveness, marriage.
    • We need to trust him that he has the words of eternal life, that all things have been handed over to him by the Father and in order to know the Father, we must get to know him in the Son.
  • Third, we need to be diligent, willing to work hard
    • Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”
    • He is not calling to himself in this way those who are lazy, who pass the buck, who don’t roll up their sleeves and work up a sweat. He’s not inviting those who are seeking a comfortable, easy life. When Jesus says “follow me!,” he’s not intending to lead us to Club Med or the Bahamas; he’s going to lead us along the same path he trod, which was a hard-working path all the way Calvary. Jesus is speaking, rather, to those who are working hard, who are striving to take responsibility for their own life, for the life of their loved ones, for society and the Church, who are pushing themselves in love to the limit. Jesus had told us once to pray to the Harvest Master, his Father, “to send LABORERS into his vineyard” (Mt 9:38), not BODIES into his vineyard. The way to salvation and the salvation of others in that vineyard is through responding to all his gifts with faith, love, fatigue and perspiration. It’s those who labor, and they alone, whom he promises to refresh
  • Fourth, we need to be willing to be yoked to him.
    • Tied together. Union of life. Work together with him.
    • He doesn’t promise to take away our burdens but help us to bear them with him.
    • When we do this, we recognize the yoke is easy and our burdens light.
    • Yoke is the Cross. It’s what he put on his shoulders. The Cross is not so much a sign of pain and suffering, but a sign of the love for the Father and for us that made that pain bearable. When the Lord says he wants us to learn from him in taking his yoke upon ourselves, he is telling us that we need to take his love upon us and bear our own crosses like he bore his. There is the great, true story from Boys Town when in 1921 a crippled boy with leg braces had difficulty walking. Other boys would take turns giving him a ride on their backs. A photographer saw the scene and snapped a photo that became famous. When the boy carrying his lame friend was asked whether he was heavy, he replied, “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother.” The love he had for his fellow orphan was so great that he was willing to bear the pain. That’s what Jesus is talking about in the Gospel. And he’s not asking us to do anything he himself hasn’t already done for us. He, the Good Shepherd, bears each of us, his lost sheep, on his shoulders, and doesn’t complain about the weight, for, to him, we’re not heavy, we’re his brothers and sisters.  The more we love like him, the lighter and the easier our burdens will be.
  • Jesus wishes constantly to refresh us with his teaching, with the sacraments, with the Cross. The Eucharist is the place where Jesus gives us Himself within so that he might help us bear our burdens literally from within. The Eucharist is the summit of Jesus’ meekness and humility, who loved us so much that he became our food under the appearances of bread and wine. The Eucharist is the place where, simply, Jesus refreshes us. “Come to me, all you who labor and find life burdensome and I will refresh you.” Jesus makes that invitation anew today. Let’s ask him for the humility, trust and diligence to yoke ourselves to him in the Eucharist, so that we may be yoked in life and into eternity.   

The readings for today’s Mass were:

Reading 1ZEC 9:9-10

Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you;
a just savior is he,
meek, and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the foal of an ass.
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
the warrior’s bow shall be banished,
and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial PsalmPS 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14

R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
R. Alleluia.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
R.  Alleluia.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2ROM 8:9, 11-13

Brothers and sisters:
You are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Consequently, brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.

AlleluiaCF. MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”