Gospel Reflection – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Faith is a gift. It is freely given but it is a gift. Within our life of faith, God our loving Creator reveals himself to us. The revelation we receive lasts a lifetime. It gives us food for the journey.
We could see our lifespan as a road into the Kingdom of God. But, so often, this road demands that we remain as children. That is, as Sister Wendy Becket puts it, to have the mind of an adult and the vision of a child.
Do we remember what it is like to be a child? Childhood is identified by being dependent on another. We place our trust in someone who loves us. Sadly, not every child has this experience, but this is our closest footprint to our lifetime relationship with God. We place our trust in him.
Then, we look at how a child sees things. A child doesn’t experience or decide or form sentences through a political idealogical prism, but quite literally sees a thing and thinks: There’s a thing. We are invited, on our journey with Christ, to remain as simple as a child, to strip away all that is not important and concentrate on living a life for Christ.
This call to simplicity is at the heart of monastic life, and as monks we have chosen to be radically, fundamentally simple in our style of living. This is a way of staying anchored to Christ’s invitation to live in him, to take on the revelation he bestows upon us.
The burning centre of simplicity is humility. Our yardstick of humility is Christ who was humble enough to accept death on a cross, the ultimate sacrifice. We may not be asked to do the same thing, but we still have our own personal cross. Remaining true to the Cross of Christ depends on remaining humble.
When we are not humble, we force our opinions onto people, we make a show of being offended, we think we are more special than others. Does this ring any bells? We are all very close to being proud. But we can use the openness of Christ’s message to remain open and humble ourselves. Like the drip-drip of revelation, our daily life gives us an opportunity to push against the desire to be proud, to be closed, to be vain. Remain humble and we are on that journey towards him.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (11:25-30)
I am gentle and humble in heart.
Jesus exclaimed,
‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
The Gospel of the Lord.