14th Sunday, Year A, 2023
At times all of us find life a bit ‘heavy going.’ In the first reading, the Prophet Zechariah can’t wait for what the Lord God has in mind and is full of happiness at the prospect that God will one day reach deep into the heart of His people. The Prophet is convinced that God will show them a way to ‘off load’ unnecessary burdens and personal baggage, and to have an inner freedom to be faithful to the Lord God’s Covenant and be fruitful in welcoming new family members.
St. Matthew sees in Jesus, the Word of God made flesh; the answer to the Prophet Zechariah’s hopes!
The Gospel situates Jesus on a missionary tour through Galilee. By this time, Jesus and his followers had encountered all kinds of people in either listening and accepting the Word of Jesus, or those who walked away shaking their heads because they thought that they knew better.
In the Gospel’s opening lines, we hear this Prayer of Jesus to His Father, rising from deep within him, as it bursts forth with the Lord’s hands lifted in prayer! In this prayer to His Father, Jesus applauds the ‘little ones’ the ‘pure in heart’ the ‘faithful few’ because of their uncluttered response.
In the second part of the Gospel, we see Jesus, the human face of the Father, inviting us to share His yoke. Jesus calls us to learn from Him and be gentle and humble in heart; without pretence, we will find an inner spiritual refreshment.
Kevin Walsh is a priest in the Diocese of Parramatta in Sydney. He has been formed in the Passionist tradition, and Ministers to the Aged, the Sick, the Dying and the Bereaved.