Sunday, July 6, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, July 6, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Zechariah 9:9-10
Thus says the Lord: Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. 10 He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; the warrior’s bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
P S A L M - Psalm 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14
R: I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
I will extol you, O my God and King, and I will bless your name forever and ever. Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. (R) The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. (R) 10 Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. 11 Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might. (R) 13 The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works. 14 The Lord lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. (R)
2ND READING - Romans 8:9, 11-13
Brothers and sisters: You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 11 If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. 12 Consequently, brothers and sisters, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
We need not worry if we are not the smartest people who have lived. Our faith does not depend only on our capacity to understand difficult doctrines. Thank God for that! The fundamental truths, such as surrender to the grace of God and trust in Him, are available to all of us. There will never be a shortage of these graces in our lives. Of course, we can accept or reject these graces, but it would not be a wise decision to do that.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
Matthew 11:25-30
25 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. 26 Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 27 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. 28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”


We have in our Gospel today among the most tender and most consoling words of Jesus. But this passage offers us more than just sweet words and nice consolations. For one thing, it shows that God is not a cool, detached onlooker who, after creating us, left us to fend for ourselves. He is a God who knows our burdens and suffers alongside us in His Son Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus invites us to come to Him and He will refresh us. But He also asks us to take His yoke upon our shoulders. This is strange, come to think of it. Yes, He knows our burdens — and He still gives us His own (that is, His yoke). There is no explicit mention of His removing our own burdens, and He even adds to our burdens His own yoke.

       Of course there is a difference with the yoke which Jesus gives to us: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” It could very well be that it’s not really the burden as such or what constitutes it (whether they are financial burdens, health woes, family problems, and so on). Rather, it’s our attitude toward such burdens and difficulties in life.

       Probably God will just shake His head when He sees us in our struggles — smiling at us and downplaying our woes. And for all we know, maybe our burdens can even serve as the golden opportunity for a badly needed reassessment of our lifestyle and values. The difficulties we are experiencing now might help us to trim down the fat, detach ourselves from our luxuries, and see the great beyond — and that is no other than a life of genuine happiness and contentment with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: When you are saddled with difficulties and problems, who do you go to for consolation and rest? What golden opportunities came out of them?
Grant me Your grace, Lord, to face life’s difficulties and challenges, always remembering that You are with me even in my darkest moments.

St. Maria Goretti, virgin and martyr, pray for us.

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