Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle A

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

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Matthew 11: 25-30

"No one knows the Father except the Son"

Jesus is the One who reveals the Father to us. He is the Son, to whom everything has been entrusted by the Father. Because of his utterly unique intimate relationship with his Father, he alone truly knows God. But he is not simply someone who tells us about God; he is the living revelation of God. Through all that he says, through all that he does, through all that he is, he makes God known to us. As he was to say on a later occasion: “to know me is to know the Father”.

Today he invites all who labour and are overburdened to “come to me”, so he may give them rest. In the Gospel reading Jesus is speaking to people who experienced religion primarily as a burden. Their religion had become far too legalistic and was experienced by many as being overly harsh and demanding. Religious practice was within the grasp only of a learned elite who could know the Law in all its intricacies. The people at large were crushed under the “yoke” of the Law, and so they envisioned God as a harsh task-master laying impossibly heavy burdens on his people.

Not so, says Jesus; “come to me and learn from me”. Jesus does not present us with a list of doctrines and prescriptions but with a personal invitation. Come to me, so that knowing me you may know God. “I am gentle and humble in heart”, Jesus continues, and I reveal a God who is gentle, a God who is kind and full of compassion. So, “shoulder my yoke”, the yoke of divine love which, far from weighing you down, will empower you really to live. Come to me and follow me; walk with me, not along a way of harsh rules and regulations, but along the path of a loving personal relationship.