“Come to Me” (Mt 11:28)

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Zechariah 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.

Romans 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.

Matthew 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."

I think it is fair to say, what a strange year 2020 has been! When an unknown “novel” virus hit North America at the beginning of this year, who would have thought our lives would be altered for good. While the lifestyle in which we take comfort has taken a sudden turn and our certainties have turned into quicksand, we are forced to adapt a new way of thinking and living. It is exactly in these times of uncertainties that we are brought back to the only certainty of hope and love through the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ.

At the height of the Pandemic lockdown, we weren’t even able to see our own family; parents, grandparents, siblings, in-laws, and so on. The physical distancing, though absolutely necessary, has put tremendous stress on individuals and families: financial, social, emotional, psychological and certainly, spiritual. Some feel disconnected; cut off from the rest of the world and are plagued by feelings of intense loneliness and helplessness (think of our seniors in long-term care homes and hospices).

This week’s readings cannot come at a better time! St. Paul reminds us in the letter to the Romans that in truth, God’s Spirit dwells in us and because we have the Spirit of Christ, we all belong to Christ. Jesus, our constant companion on our journey, walks with us every solitary step of the way! The same “Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in [us]”; gives us the certainty and hope that “he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to [our] mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in [us]” (Rm 8:11).

When we feel we’re crumbling under the weight of our worries, insecurities, and doubts, Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). Such is a gentle but affirmative call; beckoning us to return to Christ, the source of life. Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you”; interestingly, He never says that He’ll take away our yoke completely (Mt 11:29). He reassures us that His “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light” (Mt 11:30). Whether we notice it or not, Christ walks with us through every hill and valley, sharing our yoke and burden. Yes, we all have our “yoke”, but our human spirit can always find strength in the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ! Jesus reminds us: “I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29). With gentleness and humility, we trek on with the hope and certainty that only the Holy Spirit can give.

Only Jesus can unbind us – from our worries, fear, doubts, uncertainties – thus, we shall rejoice like the sons and daughters of Zion. Let us shout joyfully because “your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey” (Zech 9:9).

Posted: July 5, 2020

Susanna Mak

 
Susanna深信,信仰需要在日常生活中顯露出來,尤其是當與別人相處時,需要分擔對方所面對的困境、抉擇和挑戰。她有着很多不同的身份:女兒、姐姐、朋友、姨姨、妻子、老師、校牧、終身學習者和偶爾替《生命恩泉》寫作的作者。在每一個身份當中, 她努力為天主的愛和希望作見証。 她在多倫多擔任高中教師近二十年,擁有英語、學生讀寫能力、青年領袖活動、校牧組等經驗。 她是多倫多大學商業和英語學士,教育學士,亞省Athabasca大學綜合研究碩士,以及擁有多倫多大學Regis學院神學研究碩士證書。她對於成為《生命恩泉》寫作團隊的一份子, 深感榮幸。 Susanna has a deep conviction that faith needs to be manifested in daily life, particularly, in one’s encounters with others as well as amidst dilemmas, choices, and challenges. She strives to be a living sign of God’s love and hope as a daughter, sister, friend, aunt, wife, teacher, chaplain, life-long learner, and occasional writer for FLL. She has been a high school teacher in Toronto for almost 20 years, with experiences in English and literacy, youth leadership initiatives, the Chaplaincy Team, to mention a few. She has a B. Comm, B.A. in English, and a B. Education from University of Toronto, an M.A. in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University, and a Graduate Certificate of Theological Studies from Regis College, U of T. She is humbled by the opportunity to be part of the FLL Writing Team.


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