On this 14th Sunday in ordinary time we read and reflect on a beautiful part of Matthews gospel. In Chapter 11 we see the anguish of Jesus and watch as he turns to his father in prayer. What has led up to this?
The Nazarenes in his home town had found the message of Jesus very challenging. In their view it questioned the status quo. They knew where they stood with the message of their father Abraham. It had been passed on with conviction and certainty for generations. It was their tradition. How could they turn their back on that. The message of Jesus may have sounded good. But was it too good to be true. It was a message of love without the trappings. Too risky.
Jesus then moved on to Capharnaum and after initial hope he was once again disappointed. He recalls with bitter disappointment the other towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida who refused to listen and now adds Capernaum to his woes.
He chides them. “Can you not see the mistakes you are making which lead you down the wrong road?” Even John at the beginning of this chapter seems confused by the way the message of Jesus is panning out. He sends a message. ‘Are you the one who is to come or have we got to wait for someone else?’ The reply from Jesus was excellent.
“Go back and tell John what you hear and see.’
How would John’s messenger answer today? What would he see and hear? We are confronted with numerous challenges; homelessness, the plight of refugees who seek a place of safety in our land, the cry of the planet to be cared for, the cry of families grieving for a loved one, facing death without the support of family. It seems to me that he is saying. Come to me and I will help you to carry the burden. I will be on one side of the ox and you on the other and since it will then be lighter than you ever imagined we will press on ahead out of darkness and into light.
‘Come to me, all who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
He tells us that if we live in Him and He in us we shall see with His eyes.
Let us insert the God lens and we will both see and be seen.
Kathleen Fitzsimons OP