July 6, 2008
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10
Psalm 145
Second Reading:
Rom. 8:9, 11-13
Gospel: Matt. 11:25-30

Theme: Carrying My Burden with Jesus

In verse three of “Come to the Water” [G & P #706] a song composed by the Jesuit Father John B. Foley, we sing:

"And let all who toil, let them come to the wa–ter. And let all who are we–ary, let them come to the Lord; All who la–bour, with–out rest, how can your soul find rest, ex–cept for the Lord."

Using this song as reference, I wish to take you back to my novitiate experience and share with you now how to develop and appreciate in-depth spiritual meditation on Scriptures. I ask you now to please, sit with your back firm to the pew, your eyes closed, your palms resting on your laps and open towards heaven; press your feet firm to the ground and imagine yourself in dire conversation with God.

Do you know about any persons who feel vulnerable, overwhelmed and are discouraged in life? Tell them about hope in Jesus, who promises anyone of us overburdened by life to come to him and he will make our burdens light.

Surrender your pride to God and bring your burden to the feet of Jesus right now!

As for St. Paul, we must relinquish our authority and power to God alone; that we concentrate NOT on things that give us instant self-gratification or instant self-glorification, but actually deviating our eyes and focus on God.

How often do I allow the Creator God to cover me with his saving power?

For St. Paul, the GOAL is that we concentrate on the Spirit of God, which is capable of transforming us regardless of our life situation or living conditions. In other words, we must PULL with Jesus by allowing God’s Spirit to dwell within us.

Do I pull with Jesus so that I may live with God? Do I pull with Jesus so that God may dwell within me, or that God may be PRESENT to me and thus transform my living condition or situation?

So, what must I do and what must we do next to acquire God’s presence CONSTANTLY in our life? For this, Jesus simply calls upon us to break free from every ACT that enslaves us or endangers our bond and intimate relationship with God. For this, Jesus calls us from every discouragement and failure or disappointment to come to him, because, he alone is our true encouragement and joy. In God, our hope finds its fulfillment. In fact, Jesus’ promise to off-load our life’s struggle is inviting and simple: “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest” [cf. Matt. 11:28; G & P #92]. We can make our life easier and our burden “light” if and when we walk with Jesus, and keep Him as the focus and center of our life’s journey.

Can I let go of my egotistic fantasies, humbly accept my inadequacies and deficiencies, and bring myself to God for some relief and comfort – and ultimately, inner fulfillment of the real meaning and purpose of my life?

Are you carrying any heavy burden, and do you know about any persons who feel vulnerable, overwhelmed and are discouraged in life? Tell them about hope in Jesus, through whom we find everlasting happiness with God! Let us now tell each other to embrace God and to hope in God, for our God is EVER READY to set us free from every burden or bondage!

Father John-Baptist Okai
Priest Moderator
St. Cecilia Parish, Regina SK Canada

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