14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 3, 2011)

Ah, time’s passage. Nothing like it! Last week we had the longest day of the year, and now daylight slowly diminishes until December 21. June is just about gone, and we’ll be celebrating the second of summer’s three major holidays this weekend. Won’t be long till my 62nd year of life passes into the 63rd. After all the big Easter celebrations, we’re now back into Ordinary Time in the Church’s liturgies.

It’s kind of neat to see the Gospel for this Sunday, because it fits in nicely with the 4th of July weekend. Go back to 1776…remember the contempt the British powers-that-be felt for those stupid dumb colonials. Well those “dumb colonials” didn’t do too badly, did they? That Declaration of Independence still ranks right up there with the Code of Hammurabi, the Law of Moses, and the Magna Carta as one of the world’s great documents of human freedom and responsibility. Jesus had it right: although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to little ones.”

Given that statement, I wonder how we “dumb ordinary voters” would do in handling the country’s economic woes. The professional politicians don’t seem able to get a handle on it. They claim to just absolutely love and to speak for “the American people” , but often I wonder which people they have in mind. Ah well…..enough of the cynical soapbox!

I consider Sunday’s Gospel to be one of the most beautiful and consoling of Jesus’ statements of his relationship with us. We ordinary human beings are affirmed as being exceptional people, filled with a unique, pragmatic wisdom all our own because of life’s hard lessons. We instinctively know our limits….we instinctively know that we can go only so far on our own before we start needing divine help and assistance.

This has really come through to me this summer through the media coverage of the fires, tornadoes, and floods. Time and again, folks being interviewed speak of their faith, of the support their religious beliefs and communities bring to them. They have learned to let Jesus be yoked up with them. On their own, they cannot recover. With Jesus, and with the help of others, they know they can make it.

Put simply, Jesus’ yoke, the wisdom he gives us, has nothing to do with the head. It has everything to do with the heart. This brings me full circle to the paragraph above. Logically, the colonials were stupid…they needed their brains checked!! But because they listened to their hearts, history was changed.

Be God’s smile for someone today!

herb yost reflections

Fr Herb, C.S.C.

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