Grace to you!
I reflect on the liberating power which the Blessed Lord Jesus gives.
Many of us have pet ideas or projects. They tend to be fun and get us excited. We get going in such a way they engross us. One can be so engrossed that it becomes a spiritually, unhealthy attachment.
The above can relate to passion too. Passion is good. Loving something to commit everything to it is lovely. But it can also block one from seeing.
Habit does the same thing to us as well. Our habits become so natural to us, our defaults, that it is difficult to adjust or see a better light.
Those who inherited employees who have been doing things one particular way know how difficult it could be to make them see things in another light. They have been doing things their way for decades. It may not be working at the current standards of things, but to convince them of the need to look at it differently would be a Herculian task. Change is one of the most challenging things anyone could accept.
One can be so vested in something that it becomes a semi-god. We may not create altars and worship it physically, but we sort of adore it in our hearts as our haven. Then when Christ ministers, it is difficult to take in the fresh light of the Spirit.
We read the great message from Zechariah's prophecy. It talks about the coming of the Messiah and his triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Zec 9:9-10). We read how the Messiah will come. He will be riding on a colt and with the comportment of meekness, which here relates to humility (as some translations have used it). He comes and rides not the horses and chariots of war (as a kingly warrior, though he is one), but on the normal colt which everyone—king and ordinary people on the street—ride. He is a humble and meek Messiah whose message is shalom to the world. He is Christ the Lord, our peace.
If he comes in this manner, it is a humble heart that will receive him. It is a heart not burdened by loads of our old habits and ego. It is a heart ready to weed out those encumbrances that weigh the spirit down and embrace the freeing power of the Gospel of Christ and the Spirit. Such a person flies on the wings of the Divine Lord.
In addition to the burden of habits that do not allow us to humble openness to Christ's ways, there are other burdens. One is the burden of sin. Any sin leaves us with some mass of toxic spiritual lead that weighs our spirit down and poisons. Sometimes they cause us sleepless nights depending on their gravity. That we suppressed the feelings does not mean they are gone. They are there, piling up until we cry for help. Otherwise, we are weakened from flying as the Lord wishes for us. The Lord lifts us. He rejoices to see that we receive the revelation that he is here, lifting us and saving us from this burden of sin. The Lord rejoices because we understood Divine Saving Grace in him, Christ (Mt 11:25-27).
Embracing the Lord in humble acknowledgment and confession takes away these burdens. True freedom from the burden of sin is from the Spirit of Christ, which gives life to our bodies through his Spirit that abides in us (Rm 8:11). Such lifts us from the burden of sin.
There are these other burdens too. Each day, life's changes could add to our burden. They could be aging, career changes, joblessness, immediate threats to life, poverty, personal and structural injustice, cultural and political pressures. They could also be a feeling of rejection, lack of sense of worth, insecurity, hopelessness, etc. These could pile in our hearts and weigh us down. We carry their worries on our shoulders. Become worriers. When we do, they take the joy of the Lord from us.
All of these are too much weight to carry. Some of them aren't even worth giving them space in your life. You deserve better. It calls for humility to receive what the Lord brings. Such a humility equips us to approach life with the heart of a child, who is so detached and open for freshness, a new way, Christ's way.
Here is what happens when we embrace Christ's way. The old burdens, the stressful toil from fruitless ventures, will give way to something much more valuable. That value springs from faith, animated by the grace Christ is and provides.
What Christ gives us knocks off the burden we have carried upon ourselves. As Saint Augustine says, “they give us wings” (Sermon, 126),and we can fly like a bird because such do not pull us down, they raise us to glory.
Lord, give us the rest in you and lift all the burdens in our hearts. Fill us with the joy of your presence. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[14th Sunday Ordinary Time A: Zec 9:9-10; Rom 8: 9, 11-13:7-10; Mt 11:25-30]
 Augustin, Sermons, 126 in Saint Matthew’s Gospel, The Navarre Bible (Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers, 2005), 95.
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.