Posted by: RAM | June 22, 2017

Friday (June 23): “For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Lectionary: 170

First Reading: Deuteronomy 7:6-11
Psalms 103:1-4, 6-7, 8, 10:  
The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Second Reading: 1 John 4:7-16

Gospel: 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.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062317.cfm

Reflection:  Do you want to know the mind and heart of God? Jesus thanks the Father in heaven for revealing to his disciples the wisdom and knowledge of God. What does Jesus’ prayer tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time, goodness and loving care for all his children. All fatherhood and motherhood is derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15).

Pride – the root of sin
Jesus’ prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. What makes us ignorant and blind to the things of God? Certainly intellectual pride, coldness of heart, and stubbornness of will shut out God and his kingdom. Pride is the root of all vice and the strongest influence propelling us to sin. It first vanquishes the heart, making it cold and indifferent towards God. It also closes the mind to God’s truth and wisdom for our lives. What is pride? It is the inordinate love of oneself at the expense of others and the exaggerated estimation of one’s own knowledge and importance.

Simplicity of heart
Jesus contrasts intellectual pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like “infants” in the sense that they see purely and simply without any pretense or falsehood. They instinctlively recognize their utter dependence and reliance on those who are stronger, wiser, and more capable of giving them what they need to live and grow. Those who are truly simple of heart seek the one thing alone that can sustain us in good times and hard times and in every circumstance of life – the “summum bonum” or “greatest good” who is God himself.

Simplicity of heart is wedded with humility, the queen of virtues, because humility inclines the heart towards truth and grace – the favor and help freely given by one who is all-giving, gracious, and kind towards us. Just as pride is the root or every sin and evil, so humility is the only soil in which the grace and favor of God can take root. It alone takes the right attitude before God and allows him as God to do all – all the good that he wishes to do for us for our own benefit and welfare. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6). Only the humble in heart can receive the wisdom which comes from God and and the understanding of God’s perfect goodness and plan for our lives. Do you trust in God with your whole heart and submit to his wisdom and plan for your life?

Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make – he is the perfect revelation of God because he has been with the Father before all creation and time existed. He and the Father are united in an inseparable bond of love and unity. That is why Jesus alone can truly reveal the fulness of God’s mind and heart and purpose for our lives. One of the greatest truths of God’s revelation and our Christian faith is that we can know the one true and living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing some things about God and his nature, but we can know God personally because God desires to be closely united with each one of us in a bond of love through his Son, Jesus Christ.. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and all other religions, is the personal knowledge of God as our Father – the one, true and eternal Father who knew us before we were knitted in our mother’s womb. Jesus makes it possible for each one of us to have a personal direct relationship and experiential knowledge of God as our loving and gracious Father.

To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of sacrificing his only begotten Son who freely gave up his life for our sake on the cross. Paul the Apostle tells us that Jesus is the image of God (Colossians 1:15). He is the perfect revelation of God – a God who loves us totally, unconditionally, and without reservation. What can separate us from the love of God? Only our own stubborn pride, willfulness, and rebellious attitude towards God and his will for our lives.

Jesus makes an incredible promise to those who acknowledge him as their Lord and Savior. If we pray in his name – the name Jesus means God saves – then the Father in heaven will hear us as if his only begotten Son was speaking to him directly. That is the unity, blessing, and promise he wishes for each one of us. And that is why we have the confidence and boldness to pray as Jesus taught his disciples, Our Father who art in heaven… give us this day our daily bread, and deliver us from temptation.  Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his perfect love and care for you?

The sweet yoke of Jesus
What does the yoke of Jesus refer to in the Gospel (Matthew 11:29)? The Jews used the image of a yoke to express submission to God. They spoke of the yoke of the law, the yoke of the commandments, the yoke of the kingdom, the yoke of God. Jesus  says his yoke is “easy”. The Greek word for “easy” can also mean “well-fitting”. Yokes were tailor-made to fit the oxen well. We are commanded to put on the “sweet yoke of Jesus” and to live the “heavenly way of life and happiness”.

Jesus also says his “burden is light”. There’s a story of a man who once met a boy carrying a smaller crippled lad on his back. “That’s a heavy load you are carrying there,” exclaimed the man. “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother!” responded the boy. No burden is too heavy when it’s given in love and carried in love. Jesus offers us a new kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. In his kingdom sins are not only forgiven but removed, and eternal life is poured out for all its citizens. This is not a political kingdom, but a spiritual one.

The weight of glory and yoke of freedom
The yoke of Christ’s kingdom, his kingly rule and way of life, liberates us from the burden of guilt and from the oppression of sin and hurtful desires. Only Jesus can lift the burden of sin and the weight of hopelessness from us – and give us a weight of love and glory in exchange. Jesus used the analogy of a yoke to explain how we can exchange the burden of sin and despair for a burden of glory and yoke of freedom from sin. The yoke which Jesus invites us to embrace is his way of grace and freedom from the power of sin. Do you trust in God’s love and submit to his will and plan for your life?

“Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun23.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Joseph Cafasso, Patron of prison chaplains, captives, imprisoned people and prisoners (1811-1860)
Joseph Cafasso was born at Castelnuovo d’Asti in the Piedmont, Italy, of peasant parents. He studied at the seminary at Turin, and was ordained in 1833. He continued his theological studies at the seminary and university at Turin and then at the Institute of St. Franics, and despite a deformed spine, became a brilliant lecturer in moral theology there. He was a popular teacher, actively opposed Jansenism, and fought state intrusion into Church affairs. He succeeded Luigi Guala as rector of the Institute in 1848 and made a deep impression on his young priest students with his holiness and insistence on discipline and high standards. He was a sought-after confessor and spiritual adviser, and ministered to prisoners, working to improve their terrible conditions. He met Don Bosco in 1827 and the two became close friends. It was through Joseph’s encouragement that Bosco decided his vocation was working with boys. Joseph was his adviser, worked closely with him in his foundations, and convinced others to fund and found religious institutes and charitable organizations. Joseph died on June 23 at Turin and was canonized in 1947. His feast day is June 23rd. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 696

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alban
St. Alban of Britain
St. Consortia
St. Eberbard
St. Flavius Clemens
St. John Fisher
Martyrs of Ararat
St. Nicetas
St. Nicetas of Remesiana
St. Paulinus of Nola
St. Thomas More

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

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