14TH SUNDAY ORDINARY TIME – A
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The Father sent His Son to the world not just to save it but to have His Son be known to humanity. When Jesus was made known, the Redeemer became our friend and brother. The mission of Jesus was not just to save man but to bring him to a personal relationship with his Father. In this covenant-relationship, the Creator became our Father and we all became heirs of the Kingdom of God which Jesus proclaimed. But this reality is not just something in the air that we glory in or romanticize in our thoughts. Other than the signs and symbols we used in our Church, all of these are spiritual realities hence the need and aide of faith not just to make it our own but to live it in our lives.
An atheist can read many things about God but his knowledge does not bring him to a relationship with God. We can study theology and have a cognitive understanding of the different dogmas and mysteries but that does not make us believers in God. Google does not have the answer to all our questions. Even if does answer many of our questions, it will not make us good Christians. Only the Father can bring us to Jesus and only Jesus can bring us to the Father.
“Come to me, all you are burdened… my yoke is easy… I will give you rest”. Not many of our youth today know or have ever seen what a yoke is. It is actually a piece of wood a farmer puts on the neck of cattle or buffalo to plow the field. Jesus as a carpenter must have made yokes in Nazareth. Yokes are tailor-made for the animals or else it won’t fit and cause harm. The Law of Moses became a heavy burden for the Israelites when the Pharisees multiplied the 10 Commandments into 613 negative and positive laws. It was a yoke too much to bear by the people. Jesus simplified the law into two commandments: love of God and love of neighbor. The yoke Jesus was offering was not just for the Israelites but for all humanity.
After a tiring day or an exhausting week, we just look forward to a relaxing moment where we can be re-charged and rejuvenated. Maybe we watch a good movie, listen to our favorite music, play sports with friends, or just being with our family at home. If we don’t do this we are doomed to burn out. When people lose the sense of meaning in life, lose direction or simply the zest to life, they are pushed into the wall of emptiness. Oftentimes they see nothing but pitch black and enter into depression. Their yoke has made a great toll on them. For some, suicide becomes the easy way out. But our faith in God is the way in; it is our faith that makes the difference.
Our gospel today is a beautiful reminder that when we are the end of our rope or when our candle is at the flickering end, Jesus offers us an extension, our “second wind”, our living hope. He knows a tailor-made yoke for us being our friend and brother. Before we ever fall, we just have to grasp the hand he’s offering to us, humble ourselves and give him our full trust.
Jesus did not just come to let his Father known to us but to bring us home where this Father is anxiously awaiting for us….