At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Everyone has a favorite Bible passage. Today’s Gospel is mine. The consoling words of Jesus are familiar: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened….”
I find it hard to say why I like this text so much. Perhaps it’s because I’ve felt burdened at times in my life, or have known others who labor greatly under sorrow and suffering. I’ve heard these words addressed to myself and in turn I’ve shared them with others in homilies at Mass—particularly at funerals.
But in addition to the Lord’s encouragement that we come to him with our burdens, he invites us to “take up his yoke” and “learn from him.” His meekness and humility show us a way to bear our burdens. I’ve often marveled at the paradox in Christ’s words: His yoke—his burden—was the cross, and yet he calls it “easy and light.” How does the heavy burden of the cross—and suffering and death—become “easy and light”?
Somehow that transformation must happen in the act of surrender—in the “giving over” of our own daily labors, burdens and crosses to the Lord. Admitting to ourselves that we cannot carry them on our own, allowing Jesus to shoulder them with us, letting go of control; in that simple, childlike surrender, we discover the rest Jesus promises.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In the first reading ( Zec 9:9-10), why does Zechariah say: “Rejoice daughter Zion,” and “Shout for joy Jerusalem?”
What does he foresee?
What will happen when the Messiah comes?
• According to the second reading (Rom 8:9, 11-13), what does St. Paul write to the church in Rome?
What is the difference between living in the flesh and living in the Spirit?
What does “living in the Spirit” demand?
• In the Gospel (Mt 11:25-30), why does Jesus give praise to the Father? What did the Father do that is so remarkable?
What does Jesus invite those who labor and are burdened to do?
What is a yoke? Can you draw animals who are yoked to a plow? Or at least draw a yoke?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• This week’s Gospel talks about a yoke, which is a piece of equipment that keeps oxen together when they are plowing the fields. To get a sense of what that is like, grab a large T-shirt for you and another family member to put on at the same time. See how easy or difficult it is for the two of you to complete a task. If you can’t find a shirt, tie one leg together and try walking across the room.
• This week’s Gospel is called “The Praise of the Father.” Make a video for your dad or grandpa and tell them what they mean to you. If you can’t make a video, write a note or letter.