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Back Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thursday, July 2, 2020
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
Have you ever been surprised? It may have been as bold as the time friends and relatives jumped out from hiding all proclaiming “Happy Birthday!” It may have been as tender as the first time you may have seen a sonogram image of the new child that you had conceived. It may have been as simple as receiving a good mark on a final report card, that you cannot perceive how it got there.
God is often referred to by many as a God of surprises. In media drama episodes those in mortal danger are often rescued by “the good guys” pouncing on the scene with guns blazing. Even, vintage westerns had images of the cavalry coming to the rescue of helpless town folk.
The chosen people held hopes and dreams of being rescued by a warrior Messiah. Someone who with great strength and multiple armies would rescue the chosen from the oppression of their Roman occupiers and all neighboring nations who would do them harm. Overly enthusiastic patriots were often referred to as members of the “Zealot Party” who wished nothing more than to overthrow the Roman occupation of their country. Even one of the disciples of Jesus is referred to as, Simon the Zealot.
How surprising then is the image of the great Messiah Lord as depicted in this weekend’s first lesson from the prophesy of Zechariah. “Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is he, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). This image reinforces the perception that Jesus is not the Messiah the Zealot Party awaited for as He comes to us humbly, born as a homeless child in the city of David, Bethlehem.
Even, Jesus in this weekend’s Gospel passage from Matthew gives thanks to God His Heavenly Father for hiding His revelation from the learned and cleaver; from those looking for the conquering Messiah but revealed the truth of His ministry to the childlike and the simple. Our God is indeed a God of surprises. Who would have thought that the apparent victory of the powers of darkness in the unjust crucifixion and death of Jesus of Nazareth would be the vehicle, the saving act of our redemption. Surprise! God had a different plan.
God wants to surprise us as well. God wants us to yield to His call and his will for our lives. To know that will we have to consult Him time and time again. Most times we, like stubborn children, pursue our own interests and get bogged down by tremendous stress as we over complicate our life; searching for what we believe will make us happy. Our invitation to God to show us the way and the courage to say “yes” to God’s will in our lives will not remove all the difficulties but Jesus will assist us in carrying our burdens. As He says: “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” (Matthew 11:29-30). To be “yoked” to Jesus means that we never would carry the burden alone for He, Jesus, is at our side. This summer may we enjoy some rest and re-creation in God’s Holy Will in us.