Bulletin: July 9, 2017
Humility is a virtue in short supply in today’s world. And yet our reading from the prophet Zechariah describes Israel’s coming king, in whom we Christians see Jesus, as humble, riding on a colt, the foal of an ass. No great procession for our Lord and God, for he comes not on a golden chariot with banners and a great procession of soldiers and riches, but on a humble beast of burden. What a contrast to our world of designer clothes and cars; of mega-mansions and architectural embellishments. Humility is not bragging about our worldly goods or our accomplishments. Neither is it the false humility of denying that what we do well is “nothing.” It is the acknowledgment of our faults and our successes, with a humble “thank you” to compliment or criticism.
FROM THE RIVER TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
How we long for peace in our world! It seems we are surrounded by constant news of death and destruction, whether in our own country or abroad. We hear and we grieve, we try to give shelter to those fleeing war and crime in their own countries. We pray for them and for ourselves, that fear may not overtake us and make us do foolish things or abuse innocent people. For “[God] shall proclaim peace to the nations” (Zechariah 9:10). We can rely on this promise of peace, if we become peaceful people ourselves and do not give in to revenge or deep anger. “You are not in the flesh . . . you are in the spirit” (Romans 8:9).
COME TO ME
Some of the most comforting words in the Gospels appear in today’s reading. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest . . . For my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Matthew 11: 28, 30). Sometimes we carry what seem to be impossible burdens; we carry our cross. But we might be carrying the wrong cross. Our cross, we are promised, will be easy and our burden light. This might not seem to be true when we suffer the loss of a loved one, a job, our home, or our livelihood. But if we turn to Jesus, we will always find the comfort and loving kindness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The children look to us adults for comfort and support, for “although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones” (Matthew 11:25). We can learn from children about our dependence on God.
So Jesus says to us, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). Again, the Lord’s humility reveals neither bragging nor false denial of his power, but an acknowledgement of his love for us.
Today’s Readings: Zec 9:9–10; Ps 145:1–2, 8–11, 13–14; Rom 8:9, 11–13; Mt 11:25–30