(MATT. 11: 25-30)
In November, 2016, a shudder was felt around the world when Donald Trump, a real estate magnate and Reality TV host, snatched the Presidency of the United States from a veteran Washington insider. During the previous seventeen months campaign, the media gave us free ringside seats at a political World Wrestling competition where Trump replaced rational debate with coarse ringside language, in the verbal humiliation of his political rivals. He knocked them over the ropes with : “Lyin’ Ted Cruz; Low Energy Jeb Bush; Killer Hillary etc.”
The hope that he would become ‘more presidential’, a ‘leader of all the people’, particularly of the poor and jobless, was dissipated, after his January 2017 inauguration, when he placed a heavy yoke on the people with his daily tweets which generated shock and fear. Lies, hatred, misogyny and racism masquerading under the banner; ‘Make America Great Again’, have burdened the collective psyche of America, and indeed the free world, pulling all into ever greater depression.
Longing for a message of hope, we turn to today’s gospel. In the opening verses of Matt. 11: 25-30, Jesus admits that His ministry in Galilee has not gone well. The religious experts rejected his message of a new order, the kingdom of heaven on earth. However, those on the margins, the poor and the tax collectors accepted it. That the message should be received this way, was part of His Father’s plan. Human malice is not to be excluded from that plan. Furthermore, anyone who finds the Pharisaic law a heavy yoke is invited to come to Jesus, a loving, Son of God who is gentle and humble of heart. To accept Jesus as the way in which we approach the Father is to find rest from our fears and worries. Isn’t Jesus the foil against Trump that we who are overburdened so badly need? Let us learn from Jesus. He assures us in verse 30 that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Sr. Maeve McMahon OP