14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) 07-06-08 Scripture Readings First Zechariah 9:9-10 Second Romans 8:9, 11-13 Gospel Matthew 11:25-30 Prepared by: Fr.

Peter John Cameron, O.P. 1. Subject Matter
• • •

Christ’s desire for our union with him. Christ’s Presence relieves us of the burden of the crippling circumstances of our life. We live according to the Spirit who gives life to our mortal bodies; the Spirit is the verification of our belonging to Christ.

2. Exegetical Notes

Zechariah: “Your king shall come to you” – “When the evangelists described how Jesus entered Jerusalem astride a donkey, they recalled the words of a later prophet: ‘See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is He, meek and riding on a donkey...’ (Zech 9:9). Luke recorded that the disciples proclaimed: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord’ (19:38, see Psalm 118:26). The royal mission of Jesus should bring peace to Jerusalem, fulfilling the angelic hymn that celebrated His birth (see Luke 2:14). Because many Jews of the time hoped that God would send the Messiah to deliver their land from Roman oppression, Jesus had to combat inadequate notions of His mission. Even after the resurrection, disciples asked: ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ (Acts 1:6).” (Fr. Lawrence Frizzell)

3. References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church • CCC 716 The People of the "poor" - those who, humble and meek, rely solely on their God's mysterious plans, who await the justice, not of men but of the Messiah - are in the end the great achievement of the Holy Spirit's hidden mission during the time of the promises that prepare for Christ's coming. It is this quality of heart, purified and enlightened by the Spirit, which is expressed in the Psalms. In these poor, the Spirit is making ready "a people prepared for the Lord." CCC 298 Since God could create everything out of nothing, he can also, through the Holy Spirit, give spiritual life to sinners by creating a pure heart in them, and bodily life to the dead

through the Resurrection. God "gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist." And since God was able to make light shine in darkness by his Word, he can also give the light of faith to those who do not yet know him.

CCC 2014 Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called "mystical" because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments "the holy mysteries" - and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all. CCC 30 "Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice." Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, "an upright heart", as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God. CCC 1 God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life. CCC 27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for: The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.

4. Patristic Commentary and Other Authorities

St. Ambrose: “The Lord Jesus took compassion on us in order that he might call us to himself and not scare us away. He comes as someone gentle, someone humble and then he says, “Come to me all you who labor and I will refresh you” (Mt 11:38). Thus the Lord Jesus refreshes. He neither excludes nor casts away. He rightly chose such disciples who, as messengers of the Lord’s will, would gather together God’s people, not disdain them.” St. John Chrysostom: “By what He had said, He brought His disciples to have a desire towards Him, showing them His unspeakable excellence; and now He invites them to Him, saying, Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden.” St. Leo the Great: “Let us take up this yoke of the Truth - neither ‘heavy’ nor rough - and allow him to rule over us. Let us be like him in humility, since we want to be patterned after him in glory—with him aiding us and leading us to his promises. In his mercy, he has the power even to wipe away our sins and to perfect his gifts in us.” St. John Chrysostom: “He said not, Come you, this man and that man, but all whosoever are in trouble, in sorrow, or in sin, not that I may exact punishment of you, but that I may remit your sins. Come you, not that I have need of your glory, but that I seek your salvation. And I will refresh you. Not, I will save you, only; but that is much greater, I will then refresh you, that is, I will set you in all quietness.”

St. Augustine: “Not to create a world, or to do miracles in that world; but that I am meek and lowly in heart. Would you be great? Begin with the least. Would you build up a mighty fabric of greatness? First think of the foundation of humility; for the mightier building any seek to raise, the deeper let him dig for his foundation. Whither is the summit of our building to rise? To the sight of God.” Msgr. Luigi Giussani: “The way in which we feel, see, and judge comes from what we belong to. If man belonged to nothing, then he would be nothing. If there weren’t the awareness of a belonging, then he would be faced with his own nothingness.” Henri Nouwen: “Lord Jesus, you always call me closer to your wounded heart. There you want me to know true joy and true peace…. In the midst of all the human brokenness and human pain, I see, hear and touch the heart of humanity, your humanity, the humanity of all the people embraced by your love. Thank you, Jesus, for your heart. Thank you for showing me your heart. Thank you for letting me see while not seeing, hear while not hearing, touch while not touching. Thank you for letting me believe more every day, hope more every day and love more every day. My heart is little, fearful and very timid. It will always be so. But you say, ‘Come to my heart. My heart is gentle and humble and very broken like yours. Do not be afraid. Come and let your heart find rest in mine and trust that all will be well.’ I want to come, Jesus, and be with you. Here I am, Lord, take my heart and let it become a heart filled with your love.”

5. Examples from the Saints and Other Exemplars

St. Philip Neri would pray: “I seek you, and I cannot find you; come to me, my Jesus! I cannot love you unless you help me, my Jesus. My Jesus, if you want me, cut the fetters that keep me from you. Jesus, be a Jesus to me.”

6. Quotes from Pope Benedict XVI

“This ongoing actualization of the presence of Jesus - through the work of the Spirit and through the Church’s apostolic ministry and fraternal communion - is what we mean by the term Tradition; it is not just a transmission of ‘things’ but the efficacious presence of the Lord who accompanies and guides the gathered community. The Holy Spirit nurtures this communion, assuring the connection between the apostolic faith experienced by the first communities of disciples, and our experience today of Christ in his Church. Let us rejoice in the presence of the Savior who comes to meet us, to redeem us, and to sanctify us through the ministry of his Church!” “Grace in the proper and deepest sense of the word is not some thing that comes from God; it is God himself. Redemption means that God, acting as God truly does, gives us nothing less than himself. The gift of God is; God-he who as the Holy Spirit is communion with us.” “We could say that ‘character’ means a belonging that is a part of the person’s very existence. To that extent the image of ‘character’ expresses in its turn the same ‘being related to.’ And, indeed, this is a kind of belonging we can do nothing about; the initiative for this comes from the proprietor - from Christ. Thereby the nature of the sacrament becomes clear: I cannot simply declare myself as belonging to the Lord in this way. He must first accept me as one of his own, and then I can enter into this acceptance and accept it for my own part, learn to live it.”

“In the Bible the cross is…the expression of a life that is completely being for others. It is not man who goes to God with a compensatory gift, but God who comes to man, in order to give to him. He restores disturbed right on the initiative of his own power to love, by making unjust man just again, the dead living again, through his own creative mercy.” “We cannot live without joining together on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. We would lack the strength to face our daily problems and not to succumb. Christ is truly present among us in the Eucharist. It is a dynamic presence that grasps us, to make us his own, to make us assimilate him. Christ draws us to him, he makes us come out of ourselves to make us all one with him” “On the cross God revealed himself as the One who pours himself out in prodigal fashion; who surrenders his glory in order to be present for us; who desires to rule the world not by power but by love, and in the weakness of the cross reveals his power which operates so differently from the power of this world’s mighty rulers. To follow Christ, then, means to enter into the self-surrender that is the real heart of love. To follow Christ means to become one who loves as God has loved…In the last analysis, to follow Christ is simply for man to become human by integration into the humanity of God.” “The Church, despite all the human frailties that mark her historical profile, is revealed as a marvelous creation of love, brought into being to bring Christ close to every man and every woman who truly desire to meet him, until the end of time.”

7. Other Considerations

This call to “come” echoes Christ’s call to his first disciples (Mt 4:18-22). It resounds in the invitation to the wedding feast of the kingdom (Mt 22:4). It grounds the foundation of faith in the Resurrection: “Come and see the place where he was laid” (Mt 28:6). And it anticipates the call to inherit the Father’s kingdom issued by Christ at the Second Coming (Mt 25:34). In short, in calling us to come to him, Jesus beckons us to take up our Christian vocation, by making love of the Father’s kingdom, faith in the Resurrection, and hope for ultimate communion in heaven the chief labor of our life and the source of our rest. To counteract life’s struggles, we are to take up Christ’s yoke, finding consolation in Christ’s meekness. In this way we identify with the lowly who are blessed (Mt 5:5) including Jesus himself (Mt 21:5). By preferring the humility of Jesus, we make ourselves lowly like the little children who rank with the greatest importance in the heavenly reign (Mt 18:4). Only the humility of Jesus that we freely take on predisposes us for grace-filled exaltation (Mt 23:12) precisely by freeing us from the harrowing burden of hypocrisy (Mt 23:4). If we insist on some self-serving excuse for not taking Christ’s yoke upon us and learning from it, then what we have been given will be taken away (Mt 25:28). Jesus hands over to us what has been “handed over” to him by his Father: namely, his very self in death (Mt 17:22; 20:18-19; 26:2, 15, 16, 21, 23-25, 45, 46, 48; 27:2-4, 18, 26). When we embrace the goodness of the Father’s “gracious will” hidden in the cross of Jesus Christ, we too give the Father praise worthy of the Son of God.

Recommended Resources http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerus/index_eng.html

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful