Reflection for July 2020

Community Word: Jesus invites us to find rest in Him.

Order: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28)

The order for the month of July is unquestionably one of the more significant biblical verses, providing those who are burdened with a promise of hope and assurance. It is the answer to the despair and helplessness we experience when faced with problems that seem to defy solution – especially with our on-going concern on Covid 19…“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Mt 11:28).

It is a source of inspiration that has transformed lives; a familiar theme among LSS sharers, but applies as well to ordinary servants of the Lord in their daily struggles. When members of Bukas Loob sa Diyos Community find themselves exhausted and burnt out from numerous mission activities – notwithstanding Covid 19 that deprives us of hearing mass, receiving Holy Communion, spending quiet time at the Adoration chapel for the past 3 months, we cling to Matthew 11:28 because we find rest in simple joys and ordinary activities. We unburden ourselves of troubles and worries, and find peace and serenity in the presence of the Lord. As the community word for the month of July states: Jesus invites us to find rest in Him.

The theme for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time tells us – We find rest in Jesus when we are meek and humble of hearts. To be a follower of Jesus is to be like Him, and to be like Him means to denounce worldly attachments. In the first reading, the prophet Zechariah prophesies Jesus riding on an ass, devoid of pomp and power that is normally associated with royalty, “See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass,” (Zech 9:9). Our Lord, the King of kings, chooses to ride on an ass in all modesty and humility. Like Jesus, we are called to imitate Him in His unassuming and unpretentious ways. To those who are humble and gentle, this promise is given, “The Lord lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down,” (Ps 145:14).

We find rest in Jesus when allow our heart to be a rich soil for God’s word – is the theme for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We can say that the Apostles were truly blessed because they lived with Jesus for three years, listened to His teachings, and witnessed His works and miracles first hand. Unfortunately, more than 2000 years later, this is no longer the case with His present-day disciples. But He is truly a faithful God who did not leave us orphans. We continue to converse with Him through the bible where His word is eternally true. It is up to us to decide how intimately we desire to know and be with the Lord through His word, and more importantly, how much of His word we want to live by to enrich our lives. The more productive and fruitful we are, the more accomplished the purpose of God’s word is in our life. The Lord assures us, “…my word…shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it,” (Is 55:11).

For the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the theme is – We find rest in Jesus when we grow and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. The gospel on this Sunday is full of parables revolving around the same teaching as the Parable of the Sower. It points to the fact that the world is full of saints and sinners, or metaphorically, of wheat and weeds. At the end of our journey, “…the angels will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will be thrown into the fiery furnace…” (Mt 13:41). This brings us to examine how we want to spend our life on earth, that is, either to live as saints or as sinners. We want to be like the mustard seed that starts out as the smallest seed but grows so large that “the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches,” (Mt 13:32). When we choose to be fruitful and become instruments in building God’s kingdom, Jesus’ promise becomes true, “The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” (Mt 13:43).

The theme for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time declares – We find rest in Jesus when we treasure Him like a pearl of great price. This Sunday’s gospel is a carry-over from the gospel of the previous Sunday. At the end of age, “the angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them (the wicked) into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth,” (Mt 13:49-50). Our life becomes purposeful when we follow Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If He is our all and all, and our life becomes abundant in Him and through Him, we can never let go of Jesus. We keep Him as the Prize of eternal value that leads us to enter the Kingdom of heaven. When we live life with Jesus at the center, we can expect this promise that St. Paul declared to the Romans, “…all things work for the good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” (Rom 8:28).


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