14th Sunday of Year A
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EXPLORE — REST
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” In what ways does this boy, taking a break from his studies, represent the weariness and burdens that many of us experience in our daily lives?
Zechariah makes a prophesy that the Saviour will enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Horse and Chariot were symbols of power and war. A donkey was a symbol of humble work and peace. Horse and Donkey. Power and Humility. Violence and Service. Why does the world favor a horse, God a donkey?
“Meek” is a word mentioned twice in todays readings. It comes from a Greek word meaning ‘not easily provoked’. Like a person feeling anger and yet staying in full control, able to turn it to justice rather than violence. Meek people lead the way in reconciliation, healing. Who could you identify as ‘Meek’? What practice could you adopt to develop a meek character?
‘Flesh’ is St Paul’s expression talkingabout a life that is lived without God, like an animal following only its senses. A ‘Spirit’ led life is a life open to God and turned outward in love. How do you experience the disciples tension of ‘flesh’ and ‘spirit’? Which life do you feed and nourish?
Jesus remarks how great learned religious figures (Pharisees and Scribes) cannot accept him, yet ‘little ones’ (the poor, those without learning, workers of the land) accept him. It is not necessarily learning that has proven an obstacle but pride and position. Within those who are ‘comfortable’ and ‘satisfied’ grows an inability to be ‘open’. Are you satisfied? Have you made Jesus comfortable? What challenge of Jesus do you find hardest to be ‘open’ to?
SOURCE: Living the Word resources are created by Fr Frank Bird a Marist priest and Mrs Bev McDonald, ACSD, distributed by Marist Laity Auckland, NZ
1. Human beings are always setting up barriers which divide people into those who are important and those who are not. It happens in every community and Jesus met it among the Jewish people of his time. God wants to break down these barriers so that those who are on the wrong side of them can experience that they too are his children and have a unique contribution to make to their community. Perhaps you can recall someone whom you did not think of highly but who turned out to be very good in some sphere. What good news that you were wrong!
2. Great intelligence is not sufficient to develop a relationship with God, unless combined with an open childlike capaci- ty to wonder. Does this resonate with your experience?
3. The ministry of Jesus was to intro- duce people to a relationship of intima- cy with God. How has Jesus given you that kind of relationship?
4. Another aspect of the ministry of Jesus was to free people from the burden of a legalistic understanding of religion, and to introduce them to a faith marked by freedom and love. Perhaps you have made that journey also. Who has been a Jesus person for you and helped you to find freedom, joy and rest in your faith?
SOURCE: Hearers of the Word
What idea do you associate with the word meek? Could meekness be a strength? Could meekness/humility help end wars, solve the climate crisis, put an end to racial discrimination? (Humility is a synonym, and truth is a synonym for humility.)
“You are not in the flesh: on the contrary, you are in the spirit. … ” At the Incarnation Christ took on human flesh with all its delights and burdens. Who is there to help us when we feel we are called to “live according to the flesh”?
If Jesus had never labored or been burdened would you still feel he could understand you?
1. What are the burdens that you need to have lifted from your shoulders? What role does Jesus have in lifting those burdens? Do you realize that the burdens will only be lifted if you acknowledge them and if you open yourself to the power of Jesus in your life? How are you going to begin doing that?
2. What are some of the burdens that the Church should be helping to lift from the shoulders of humanity? Do you see your parish or your Small Christian Community doing any of the lifting? Give some examples of the kinds of burdens that can be lifted in Jesus’ name by those with whom you have fellowship.
3. What can you do to make the role of Jesus more visible in your life? Do you have any suggestions for a more active witness to the gentle and humble power of Christ so that people might see that he has lifted your burdens?
SOURCE: Portland Diocese
What makes you “shout for joy”?
What might cause us or others to live self-sufficient lives independent of God?
Can you name any heavy burden or cross that has turned out to be a blessing?
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that he is gentle and humble of heart. Who models this spirit for you? What can help us grow in gentleness and humility?
Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.
SOURCE: Ascension Catholic Parish, Melbourne, FL
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by Edrianne Ezell
Sunday Scripture Study
In the 1st Reading in which the prophet announces the coming of the Messiah, what were the characteristics of the Messiah to be? How might that contrast with the image some might have of a solely conquering-type Messiah?
In the 2nd Reading, what does it mean to live in “the flesh”? In “the Spirit”? What should mark the life of one who is living in the Spirit?
Why is the gospel hidden from the “wise and the learned”? Who truly knows God?
What does Jesus mean by taking up his “yoke”? By the “rest” he promises those who do?
How are you like the “wise and learned”? Like the “childlike”? Which should you be?
What is the difference between the yoke Jesus’ listeners are suffering under and the yoke heoffers? Between your yoke and his?
Is Jesus’ yoke resting lightly on you or are you struggling to get out from under it?