Church aisle facing the altar

Sunday Soundbite for July 9, 2017

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A

July 09, 2017

 

 

 

Everyone has a favorite Bible passage. Today’s Gospel is mine. The consoling words of Jesus are familiar: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened….”

I find it hard to say why I like this text so much. Perhaps it’s because I’ve felt burdened at times in my life, or have known others who labor greatly under sorrow and suffering. I’ve heard these words addressed to myself, and in turn I’ve shared them with others in homilies at Mass, particularly at funerals.

But in addition to the Lord’s encouragement that we come to him with our burdens, he invites us to “take up his yoke” and “learn from him.” His meekness and humility show us a way to bear our burdens.

I’ve often marveled at the paradox in Christ’s words: His yoke–his burden–was the cross, and yet he calls it “easy and light.” How does the heavy burden of the cross, and suffering and death become “easy and light”?

Somehow, that transformation must happen in the act of surrender, in the “giving over” of our own daily labors, burdens, and crosses to the Lord. Admitting to ourselves that we cannot carry them on our own, allowing Jesus to shoulder them with us; letting go of control—in that simple, childlike surrender, we discover the rest Jesus promises.