06 Jul Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 5, 2020
Deacon Blaine Barclay
Jesus has a word for us who weary of the extra burdens facilitated by covid19. Whether distance from loved ones, or social distancing, fear or distress, loneliness or an uncertain future. Jesus says, “Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ‘Come to me’, such a simple invitation, filled with the promise of serenity, stillness, and peace. We are invited into God’s sabbath rest. But how do we enter?
How do we come to him and learn the way of the disciple, the student, the learner, the apprenticeship of Christ? By walking with Christ, taking his yoke upon us, being yoked together with him, to share in his mission.
Notice the contrast between the ‘weariness’ and ‘heavy burdens’ that we carry before we come to him; and the ‘rest’ that he gives us, the ‘easy yoke’, the ‘light burden’, the ‘sweetness’ of taking on the yoke of Discipleship.
To learn the heart of Christ, wounded for love of the world. ‘For I am gentle and humble of heart”, he says. How to live the gentleness, the tenderness, the self-emptying humility of Jesus? ‘I have come among you as one who serves’, he says. As Catherine Doherty, said, ‘we are called to be a people of the towell and water’.
The first part of our gospel gives us another clue as to what this looks like. Jesus says, “Father…you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent, (the sophisticates and the know it alls), and have revealed them to infants (the childlike little ones)”. Those familiar with ‘the little way’ of St. Therese of Lisieux will recognize this simple path. But how to live the wonder, the spontaneity, the playful freedom, the dancing heart of the child, without the naïveté, the scattered curiosity, the lack of experience and discernment, the immaturity of actual childhood?
As always, the key is Jesus. We learn from Jesus, the only one who knows the Father’s heart, the only one who knows how to delight in being known by the Father. ‘If you have seen me you have seen the Father’, he says. We learn from Jesus, in the Spirit, how to rest in this mutual gift, this loving knowledge, this shared intimacy which is the very interior life of God. This is the heart of spiritual childhood.