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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Mt. 11: 25-30

I’ve been to a lot of funerals lately. Each has been beautiful in its own way. Each broke open the mystery of the life of the deceased in unique and touching ways. But the thing that each of these gatherings had in common was the bringing together of diverse and loving friends from all parts of the globe to remember and honor their beloved.

Many of these friends has left the Church of their childhood, and yet I felt a great longing from them of the love and security they knew as children. Watching them watch the videos of the First Communion, Marriage, and life of faith that the deceased lived, with the hundreds of friends who companioned them in that life, I thought I felt a wistfulness for that which they left behind.

I thought I felt a kind of surprise, like that of adults looking at where their life might have gone if they had chosen a different route, and realizing that leaving “childish” things behind meant that they left far more than they realized.

Might joining the ranks of the “wise and learned” have given them comfort for a time, but being back with their childhood friends, and memories of their Catholic childhood, bring them to the shocking awareness that they were smarter, and happier, on the day of their First Communion than they are today? Might it actually be true that God had revealed the beauty of faith to them as “little ones”?

It must be said, of course, that for MANY, leaving is what has given them peace, and they have no regrets. The “childish” things were what drove them away, and they have been much happier.

What a relief it is to lay it all down, all the burdens of trying to remain in a Church that brings you no life. Funerals can really be a lens through which we realize the good and the bad of our childhood faith. But a life without a daily relationship with Christ is what is mourned. What a relief to once again take up the easy yoke of faith.

What burdens of being wise and learned are you ready to give back to God?

Kathy McGovern ©2023

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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