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14th Sunday - Homily PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 14                                                                                                  5 July 2020


I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Matt 11)

Jesus announces the good news that the Creator of the universe is his Father and has done us the honour of making us his children. He then invites you and me to live spiritual lives and join him in proclaiming God’s peace to all nations. We are not to let any uncontrollable forces of Nature or human perversity disturb our trust in God. Jesus has come among us to show the way, to be food for our souls, to refresh our spirits, to give strength. He blesses his Father, the Lord of Heaven and earth, for giving us freedom and responsibility. Created and called by God each person has an inner personal dignity to be respected by all. Now Jesus wants to guide us so that we do not mess things up and so that we influence our neighbours and those in authority to seek the truth and to act honourably. Recently prominent politicians have behaved in a partisan, less than honest way. What do we do when leaders bend the rules to suit themselves and get carried away by the lure of popularity, putting others at risk? Continue to do what is right ourselves but be gentle and humble by shouldering his yoke, knowing that he carries the weight too, supports us, matching every step we take. No matter what the pressure we ask for strength to do the Christlike thing. It might demand that we resist the popular cause but with practice following Christ becomes ‘easy and light’.

There are many people in our world who act as if they don’t need God or the Church at all. What can the Church do for them that other organisations cannot do just as well? They resent interference. So what is the Church’s response? Our first task is to remind them gently that the Father, the Lord of heaven and earth, cares for all his children. You may be powerful, comfortable and influential but if you think only of yourselves and your party’s interests you will increase inequality and engrain injustice. Jesus even suggests that you will lose your soul if you always put the pragmatism of politics before the idealism of spirituality.

Jesus advises that you will only be truly human if you try to do the best you can for all your neighbours. He asks everyone to follow him and be inspired by the Spirit of God. If you do put yourself forward to public office then ask Jesus to make you humble and gentle in relationships with others just as he was. Ask his help as you carry your burdens and their burdens too. Ask Jesus to help you not to be narrow-minded or too self-centred. Being ‘yoked together’ with Jesus will actually help you to see and do what is right, and to be blessed by the Father.

Here are a few examples of good choices and bad choices. Pope Francis insists that the primary task of children of God is to be with the humble, those people in poor circumstances who have very little of this world’s resources. What we do in local circumstances can have global consequences.

It is good to explore our world for natural resources. But surely that does not mean poisoning air, land and sea by using up fossil fuels greedily?  It is a duty to put pressure on Governments to be aware of the balance in nature, respect ecosystems, help other peoples to live in peace by planning wisely for the benefit of all.

It is good to be well turned out but it is wrong to be fashionable at the expense of the poor, exploiting child slavery. Avoiding such injustices is a sure way to bring help to the underprivileged, to relieve debt and to give poorer people the power and resources to help themselves especially in war-torn or famine affected areas.

It is right to practise self restraint so as to safeguard others while always giving real support to those who bear the greatest burdens whenever we can.

It is good to be aware that we are pilgrims in God’s big family that goes back over generations. Jesus his Son wants to accompany each of us into the future that fulfils dreams beyond human imagining.

There are many in our world who read the words of today’s gospel, ‘come to me all you who labour and are overburdened’ and say, ‘That is me Jesus is talking about!  Let us pray together to the Father, Lord of heaven and earth, and promise we will be with Jesus as he gives those overburdened people the rest they long for.

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