Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
We ought to never forget who this God is who calls us into relationship with Him. This God challenges our notions of what it means to be god-like. Often, when people today strive to be “like-god” (whether they believe in God or not), they do so by grasping after power and seeking to impose that power over others, whether for their own profit (think of social climbers, for example), or even for the good of others (as social crusaders might seek to do). But this sort of attitude is precisely the sort of thing that Paul critiques in the letter to the Romans as being “according to the flesh,” (Rm 8:12) whereas Paul invites us to live rather according to the “Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead” (Rm 8:11).
Both the first reading from the prophet Zechariah (Zec 9:9-10) and Jesus’ invitation in today’s Gospel (Mt 11:28-30) reveal that the One who saves is “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29; cf Zec 9:9). This does not mean that our God is a “push-over,” however. God is LORD of heaven and earth, and all things fall under God’s dominion. But that dominion can only be properly understood as love, and even God’s wrath must be understood as the passionate love of One who is not indifferent to the good of his beloved creatures and wishes to call them out of the destructive death-dealing illusions that they have chosen into the fullness of life for which they were created. The life and love to which we are called is simple and is revealed to little ones. Often, however, we cannot see this true life, because we are in love instead with the carefully crafted political realities, social theories, economic models, or even that “spiritual wisdom” which hides the simplicity of Christ’s life, a life hidden in plain sight among us, to which we are called. Often we seek this “knowledge,” whether political, social, economic, spiritual, etc., in order to identify the yokes of ordinary existence and free ourselves from them, imagining that we would then be truly free. But, fleeing these yokes, we only create greater burdens for ourselves and others. Let us stop fleeing from the simple yoke that Jesus himself offers us, for it is in taking up the ordinary challenges of daily life, meekly and humbly, with and in the Lord Jesus that we will finally find rest for ourselves (Mt 11:29).