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Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Matthew 11:25-30

Have you ever had the blissful experience of having a burden lifted from your shoulders?  Maybe you’ve been worrying something to death, and a friend finds the perfect words to set your soul at rest.  Or maybe it’s a physical comfort, like having someone stronger take your heavy grocery bags, or grab your snow shovel and say, “Let me clear your walk for you.”

That’s grace.  That’s Jesus, lifting away your sad spirit and replacing it with His yoke, which is always peace, consolation, perfect rest.

So here’s your summer assignment.  Ride your bike to the park.  Find a spot under a big, leafy tree.  Lie down on your back and look up.  Now, here’s the blissful part.  Just stay there.

Ah.  Can you feel it?  That is the rest that Jesus invites you to today.  Do you labor under the stress of family problems?  Just lie there.  Let the sun warm you.  Look in awe at the thousands of astonishing things going on in that tree as it stretches to the sky.

Are you heavily burdened with illness, or unemployment, or bitter disappointment?  Don’t move.  Let Jesus give your soul a perfect rest as you soak in all the grace that exists in a single tree.

Let your eyes take in just a fraction of the breathless beauty that is summer, our Creator’s gift of grace.  Can you hear that bird, singing in the branches?  Here are the words she is singing:

Come to Him.  Find rest in Him.  He has already left your burdens under the Tree.

What experience have you had of a burden lifted?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

4 Comments to “Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Cycle A”

  1. Awaiting a stem cell transplant this summer, I received the news that I no longer needed it, at least for now. I could physically feel the burden lightening. In the aftermath of thanksgiving and prayer, the question became: So what do I do with this new gift of lightness and life? When God removed our burdens, we need to respond by offering ourselves in new and more complete ways. Thanks fotr getting my week started…


  2. After my son, Curt, died almost eleven years ago, I had so much anger toward people who had kept him awake and, I believe, prohibited his healing. My anger delayed my grieving by six to seven months. One night, I was dreaming about all this, and I heard a voice, which did not sound like Curt’s, but which I knew was his voice. He said, “Don’t worry about all that. Just keep your eyes on the goal and do what it takes to get there.”

    I had not looked at the readings for the next morning, which was a Sunday, but I was shocked to hear St. Paul advise the exact same thing that morning!

    I believe the burden of anger I was carrying was lifted during that dream and the relief I felt was reinforced the next morning at Mass.


  3. Thank you Steve and Brevis for showing me God’s actions in your lives! – – Cris

  4. Several years back my mom died. About six months later, a woman I considered my friend took me out to lunch for my birthday. She didn’t understand my grief and told me repeatedly how I should sell my mom’s things in a yard sale. She was really good about organizing and running one and would gladly help me. I just couldn’t do it. I could give Mom’s things to someone who would use and appreciate them but nickel and dime over them, never. I was in a place of what a therapist called “complex grief.” Everything felt like loss. My prayer was, “What else do you want from me, God?” Our conversation went downhill until my friend said, “_ _ _ _ happens.” This was not the way to talk about what was going on inside me, the circumstances that brought about this grief, or my mother’s death. I did something I had never done before. I put my napkin down, walked out and left my friend to pick up the pieces. I cried all the way home and then connected with a Stephen Minister who had been visiting me every week. We talked and prayed over the phone.
    It took me about a year to write a note of apology and to let my friend know that I was stronger. She wrote me a note to say that she understood. It may seem strange, but I recognized that even though I was apologizing, I needed to forgive her for the deep hurt I experienced at her words. Forgiving her lifted a heavy burden, but it also showed me that I really was stronger and more at peace. We’ve not reconnected. It’s okay because it shows how people come into our lives and then move on. If we allow, we grow and become more refined because of the time we spend with them. I still remember our laughter, the fun times, and caring we once shared. In this instance, she led me to the depth of forgiveness where I could once again let go.

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