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Gospel for Sunday, July 09: Matthew 11:25-30

 XIV Sunday A

25At that time Jesus said, “I bless you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have kept these things hidden from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to the little ones. 26Yes, O Father, for thus it has pleased you. 27Everything has been given to me by my Father; no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and the one to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. 28Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, who am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is gentle and my burden light.”

Mt 11:25-30

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (www.buonabibbiaatutti.it).

Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.

The predilection of the little ones

One of the typical features of Jesus’ choice of the poor is abstention from judgment. The Kingdom of God does not come because someone deserves it: it comes through the gratuitous to loving action of God who, Father, intervenes for the suffering children. Even the privilege of the “little ones” is not a “merit” acquired by them, but is a precise choice of God: it depends only on the Father’s “eudokìa,” his gratuitous benevolence: “At that time Jesus said, “I bless you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have kept these things hidden from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to the little ones. Yes, O Father, for thus it has pleased you'” (Mt 11:25-26). The blessedness of the poor does not lie in their oppressed condition, but in the fact that God in Christ shows himself to them as a loving Father, who has heard the cries of his children, and who rushes to their rescue: this presence of God at their side is the “Kingdom of God” (Lk 6:20): “The premise of Jesus’ beatitudes is not that the poor are better and more deserving than others. Rinaldo Fabris said it very well…: if the poor are the recipients of the good news, it is not because they meet certain conditions, but simply because God is God” (J. Dupont). One should intervene for one’s brother not because he is worthy, but only because he is in need, like God “who makes his sun rise over the wicked and over the good, and makes it rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mt. 5:45). Like the prophet Hosea, who marries a prostitute, Gomer, without judging her, without placing himself above her, without “falling in love out of pity,” but “getting engaged (ed. note: in Hebrew the verb “‘rs” is used, designating a virgin girl!) in righteousness and faithfulness, in love and tenderness” (Hos 2:21).

Going to Jesus

“Jesus invites his disciples to participate in the divine life: it is a matter of passing through him, the ultimate way to access the Father, as he will say in the fourth gospel (cf. Jn. 14:6). Here he expresses this in words of great consolation, which constitute a call to adhere to him with confidence: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me that I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your lives.” In Jesus’ time the rabbis likened the Torah, the Law of God, to a yoke to be borne, referring to the responsibility entrusted to those who entered into covenant with God. This yoke had progressively become more and more burdensome because of strict interpretations provided by Israel’s religious leaders: the precepts, given by God for man’s authentic freedom, had turned into “heavy burdens imposed by scribes and Pharisees on people’s shoulders” (cf. Mt 23:2)… Jesus, too, presents himself to those who listen to him as a teacher and guide (cf. Mt 23:10), but a very different teacher, who interprets the Torah with his life, making it a source of freedom: he is meek and patient with the disciples, he is respectful of those in front of him, he is devoid of all arrogance, he does not condemn sinners, he is humble of heart toward God because he is submissive to him in everything…

Yes, Jesus is a meek and humble-hearted rabbi, able to give comfort and peace to those who feel tired and burdened, to those who have lost their way in winding paths: the yoke of Jesus, Torah made person, is gentle and his load light” (E. Bianchi).

The first thing we need to do to be free from our stress and worries is to go to Jesus. Without him, our life has no real purpose or depth. We go from one activity to another, trying to fill our lives with so many things in order to obtain peace and happiness: “All man’s toil is for his mouth, yet his appetite is never full” (Qo 6:7).

God, however, created each of us with a special purpose. There is something that needs to be done on this earth that can only be done by each of us. Much of the stress comes from the fact that we do not know who we are or where we are going. Even Christians who know they are going to the Kingdom of God when they die are nevertheless anxious in this life because they do not really know that they are in Christ and that Christ is in them.

“Whoever comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you to whom he is like: he is like a man who, building a house, dug very deep and laid the foundation over the rock. When the flood came, the river burst against that house, but he could not move it because it was built well. On the other hand, those who listen and do not put into practice are similar to a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation. The river ran over it and immediately collapsed; and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:47-48).

“Seek therefore first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and the rest will be given you in addition” (Mt 6:33). There is here a kind of bilateral covenant: on our part, we are to seek God’s kingdom; on his part, God undertakes to subsidize our needs. Let us therefore cast our worries on the Master’s heart; he will keep his word, watch over us and give us rest. As the Apostle Peter admonishes us, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, pouring out all your cares upon him, for he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6-7). We are also comforted by Psalm 55: “Entrust your burden to the Lord, and he will sustain you; never will he allow the righteous to falter” (Ps 55:23).

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at migliettacarlo@gmail.com.

Source

Spazio Spadoni

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