God is love

by May Tam

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.”

If one has to find a word that sums up the underlying message and the spirit of the Gospel, it would easily be agreed that the word is—Love, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). If we look deeply enough, it could be just as easy to find another word which is---Humility. Love and Humility could well be the two sides of the same coin. Because God loves, so He humbles Himself, the Creator, to become one of us, the Created and because He humbles, so His love is made known to us and draws us to love Him in return.

We may never understand how such an almighty and majestic God could lower Himself to such an extent but we certainly are fortunate that our omnipotent God is a humble god and not a tyrannical deity. God's humility is revealed to us today through Prophet Zechariah and Jesus' own words. God is the King of the universe, yet He comes riding on a donkey. Jesus is the Lord of lords, yet His heart is gentle and meek.

In contrary to God's way, our present society teaches us to focus and believe in self elevation/promotion---“I'm worth it”. How many times do we offend others or are offended by others because of arrogance? How many times do we think we are humble when actually we are superficial and how many times we fail to love because of our egoistic mentality? Difficult is the yoke we bear when we have to be all time winners and heavy is the burden we carry when we have to stand up always the best.

There is no true love unless there is true humility. Humility makes us accommodate others' shortcomings because we know we have the same defects so that we would not ridicule or despise them. Humility helps us to appreciate others' strength because we accept our weaknesses so that we would not be jealous or envious of them. Humility teaches us to be thankful for everything because we understand we are not worthy to receive them so that we could live in gratitude and content. When we encounter someone who is truly humble, we find him/her very lovable and approachable. So humility which the world may regard as a loser's quality, in fact helps us to grow into a loving person. It wins us friendship and respect but most of all, it makes us more pleasant to others and more pleasing to God.

God favors those who humble themselves as He Himself is humble. It is Mary's humility that brought God down to her and made her Queen of heaven and earth. It is humility that brought conversions and turned sinners into saints. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19) and so we humble because He first humbled Himself for us. (rf Philippians 2:6-11). If God, the source of all things, is humble, who are we and what do we have that merits our self praise and commendation?

Let us imitate Jesus and walk humbly with Him, then our yoke and burden will truly be easy and light.