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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (A)
1st Reading (Deut 7:6-11): Moses said to the people: «You are a people sacred to the Lord, your God; he has chosen you from all the nations on the face of the earth to be a people peculiarly his own. It was not because you are the largest of all nations that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations. It was because the Lord loved you and because of his fidelity to the oath he had sworn your fathers, that he brought you out with his strong hand from the place of slavery, and ransomed you from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Understand, then, that the Lord, your God, is God indeed, the faithful God who keeps his merciful covenant down to the thousandth generation toward those who love him and keep his commandments, but who repays with destruction a person who hates him; he does not dally with such a one, but makes them personally pay for it. You shall therefore carefully observe the commandments, the statutes and the decrees that I enjoin on you today».
Responsorial Psalm: 102
R/. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Bless the Lord, o my soul; all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, o my soul; and forget not all his benefits.

He pardons all your iniquities, heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, crowns you with kindness and compassion.

Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. Not according to our sins does he deal with
2nd Reading (1Jn 4:7-16): Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 11:29ab): Alleluia. Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord; and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 11:25-30): 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. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest”

Fr. Antoni DEULOFEU i González (Barcelona, Spain)

Today when we find ourselves weary from the daily grind—because we all carry heavy burdens that can sometimes be hard to bear—let's think of these words of Jesus: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). Let's rest in Him, who is the only one that can ease all of our concerns, and thus find the peace and love that the world doesn't always provide.

Truly human rest requires a dose of 'contemplation'. If we raise our eyes to heaven and pray with our hearts, and if we are humble, we will surely find and see God, for He is there; "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth" Mt 11:25. But He is not only there, we can also find Him in the 'easy yoke' of everyday little things: in the smile of a small child full of innocence, in the grateful gaze of a sick person we've visited, in the eyes of a poor person asking for our kindness and assistance…

Let's let our entire being rest, and completely entrust ourselves to God who is our only salvation and the salvation of the world. As Saint John Paul II recommended, for true rest, we need to “…cast a gaze full of joyous delight [at a job well done]. This is a ‘contemplative’ gaze which does not look to new accomplishments but enjoys the beauty of what has already been achieved” in the presence of God. Moreover, we should express gratitude to Him: Everything comes from the Most High and, without Him, we could do nothing (cf Jn 15:5).

Indeed, one of the current major dangers is that “Ours is a time of continual movement which often leads to restlessness, with the risk of ‘doing for the sake of doing.’ We must resist this temptation by trying ‘to be’ before trying ‘to do’” (Saint John Paul II). Because, in reality, as Jesus tells us, there is only one necessary thing (cf. Lk 10:42): “Take my yoke upon you… and you will find rest for your selves” (Mt 11:29).

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “The crucified Lord is a supreme witness of patient love and of humble meekness.” (Saint John Paul II)

  • “Only by contemplating the suffering humanity of Jesus can we become meek, humble, and tender as he is. There is no other way.” (Francis)

  • “(…) The Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings without exception.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 478)