Homily – 14th Sunday Ordinary Time A 7-6-08

Homily — 14th Sunday OT A                     July 6, 2008

Jesus says to us in the Gospel today Come to me . . . .and I will give you rest.

We simply need to just come to Jesus, and rest will be given us.  No matter how weary we are, no matter how heavy burdened we are, no matter how hard our labor has been, Jesus will give us the rest our soul is longing for.

And coming to Jesus is not difficult or burdensome;  to come to Jesus is easy, and the burden it will entail for us is light.

For we come to Jesus every time we celebrate the sacraments.  Jesus is always present to us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the Holy Eucharist Jesus is here 24/7 in the Tabernacle.  When we come to Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, he will always give us the rest our souls need.

We also come to Jesus in the Sacrament of Penance, placing before him the sins that burden our soul and cause our conscience such unrest.  And Jesus in the confessional gives us rest, the rest of a clear conscience, the rest of being reaffirmed that each of us is a child of God, redeemed by the Precious Blood of Christ.

And throughout the week, we can come to Jesus wherever we are, through daily meditation on the Scriptures and lives of the Saints, even through little acts of faith hope and love throughout the work day.  Whenever we lift our hearts to pray, we come to Jesus, and Jesus always gives His rest to those who come to Him.

And finally, we come to Jesus whenever we perform one of the works of Mercy, whenever we show a selfless act of charity towards another person.  If we help carry our neighbor’s burden, Jesus will give us rest from our own burdens.

 Come to me, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.

But why is it then, that sometimes we do come to Jesus in these ways, but seem not to get any rest from Him?  If all one needs to do is to come to Jesus, why are so many people still so rest-less?

The answer is that Jesus does give rest to everyone who comes to Him, but that this rest is hidden from the wise and the learned; that is to say those people who are wise and learned in the ways of the world, those who St. Paul would say live by the flesh and not by the Spirit.

Jesus says come to me, and I will give you rest, take up my yoke and learn from me and you will find (the) rest I give you.

The wise and the learned of the world, who live by the desires of the flesh aren’t child-like enough to learn from Jesus.  And so, while Jesus gives them rest whenever they come to Him in the Sacraments, in prayer and even in good works, they can’t find this rest because it is buried under their pride and worldliness.  In contrast, it is the the little ones, those who aren’t wise and learned in the ways of the world, the child-like who live by the spirit and put to death the desires of the flesh, that Jesus reveals the mysteries of the Kingdom to.

So let us ask Jesus to help us not only to come to Him, but most importantly to take up His yoke and learn from Him — to take up our Cross by embracing the daily trials of life, and to learn what Jesus is teaching us in the present situation we find ourselves in.

Through this Eucharist may Jesus give us the rest our souls so desperately need, and may we find this rest Jesus so desires all of us to have by taking on our shoulders His gentle yoke and learning more from Him each day what discipleship entails.

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