Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fourteenth Sunday of the Year A: Reflections - Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo

Fourteenth Sunday of the Year A: Reflections – Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Zech 9:9-10; Ps 145:1-2,8-11,13-14; Rom 8:9,11-13 and Matt 11:25-30

Christ, Prince of Peace and Giver of Life in the Spirit

With the beginning of this summer some of us, including business men and women, families, civil and ecclesiastical workers are on vacation or at least thinking of a little time off. They want to get away from the routine, from the stress, the daily classes, hard work and labor, from the arguments at meetings, conflicts of opinions and interest, war of words or sometimes from the boring family tragedies, threats of war, and perhaps frustrating professional settings. Other factors motivate these movements including our longing for peace and rest which can only be truly attained in Christ Jesus whom we are called to imitate or follow with our “burdens.”

In the time of Prophet Zechariah, after the exile, caused by disobedience and unfaithfulness to God it was important for God’s people to be reassured of hope, reversal of fortunes  from sadness to joy, destruction to a rebuilding of the temple, provided sins are abandoned for holiness of life.  The fullness of this joy and rest will be attained in the coming of Christ, our Messiah. Of course, he comes not as violent warrior but in lowliness, meekness and peace.

In other words, His presence in our lives will lessen our burdens. He says, “Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest…” (Matt 11:25-30).  There could be kinds of burden, material, physical and spiritual- sins and lack of love. Dropping the burdens of sins and lack of love, and embracing love and obedience in Christ implies life in the Spirit which St. Paul encourages us in the Second reading.

He says, “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” (Rom 8:9-13).

In our daily challenges of handling the drums of wars,  of loving and forgiving even our enemies, of overcoming temptations and other  challenges, including burdens of life- in our homes, families, church and society let pray at this Mass for the grace to always long for the values of Christ- the giver of peace and life in the Spirit.