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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Thursday 15th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Exod 3:13-20): Moses, hearing the voice of the Lord from the burning bush, said to him, «When I go to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you’, if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?». God replied, «‘I am who am’. Then he added, ‘This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: I am sent me to you’». God spoke further to Moses, «Thus shall you say to the children of Israel: The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever; this my title for all generations.

»Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and tell them: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I am concerned about you and about the way you are being treated in Egypt; so I have decided to lead you up out of the misery of Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey’. Thus they will heed your message. Then you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him: ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent us word. Permit us, then, to go a three-days journey in the desert, that we may offer sacrifice to the Lord, our God’. Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless he is forced. I will stretch out my hand, therefore, and smite Egypt by doing all kinds of wondrous deeds there. After that he will send you away».
Responsorial Psalm: 104
R/. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name; make known among the nations his deeds. Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought, his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.

He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations, which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac.

He greatly increased his people and made them stronger than their foes, whose hearts he changed, so that they hated his people, and dealt deceitfully with his servants.

He sent Moses his servant; Aaron, whom he had chosen. They wrought his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Mt 11:28): Alleluia. Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 11,28-30): Jesus spoke thus, «Come to me, all you who work hard and who carry heavy burdens and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is good and my burden is light».

«Come to me, all you who carry heavy burdens (…), and you will find rest»

Fr. Julio César RAMOS González SDB
(Mendoza, Argentina)

Today, facing a world which decided to turn its back on God, in front of a world hostile to the Christianity and to Christians, to listen to Jesus (who is the One who is talking to us in the liturgy or in the private reading of the Word) brings consolation, joy and hope in the middle of the daily struggles: «Come to me, all you who carry heavy burdens (…), and you will find rest.» (Mt 11:28-29).

Consolation, as these words contain the promise of relieve which comes from God’s love. Joy, as they make the heart feel the security of faith in this promise. Hope, as walking in a world rebelled against God and ourselves, we who believe in God know that not everything comes to an end, although many “ends” have turned into “beginnings” of much better things, as His own Resurrection proves.

Our aim, a starting point to the love of God, is to be permanently with Christ, “yoke” of a law which is not based in the limited capacity of human motivations, but in the eternal saving willingness of God.

In this sense Benedict XVI tells us in one of his Catechesis:” God has a plan with and for us, and this one must be converted in what we want and are. The essence of heaven is based in fulfilling unconditionally the will of God or in other words where the word of God is achieved there is heaven. Jesus himself is heaven in the deepest and fullest sense of the word, in Him and through Him is entirely accomplished the will of God. Our will drives us away from God and makes us mere “earth”. But He accepts us, attracts us towards Him and in communion with Him we learn God’s will.” Amen!

«Come to me, all you who work hard»

Brother Lluís SERRA i Llançana
(Roma, Italy)

Today, Jesus' words resound intimate and close. We are conscious that contemporary men and women suffer a considerable psychological pressure. This world keeps on turning round and round, we cannot stand up the pace anymore and have neither time nor inner peace to assimilate these changes. Quite often we move away from the evangelic simplicity by loading ourselves up with rules, commitments, planning and objectives. We feel overwhelmed and tired of continuously struggling without our effort being worth its while. Recent investigations affirm that nervous breakdowns are on their way up all the time. What are we lacking to feel actually well?

Today, at the light of the Gospel, we may review our conception of God. How do I live and feel God in my heart? What feelings uncover his presence in my life? Jesus offers us his understanding when we feel weary and want to rest: «Come to me, all you who work hard and who carry heavy burdens and I will refresh you» (Mt 11:28). Maybe we have fought for perfection while, deep inside, the only thing we wanted was to feel loved. In Jesus' words we find a response to our crisis of meaning. Our ego plays some dirty tricks on us by preventing us from being as good as we would like to. At times we may not see the light. St. Juliana of Norwich, English mystic of the fourteenth century, had a revelation, heard Jesus’ message, and wrote: «All will go well, everything will go well».

Jesus' proposal —«Take my yoke upon you and learn from me...» (Mt 11:29)— implies following his benevolent style of life (to wish good to everybody) and his heart’s humility (virtue referring to keep our feet on the ground for only the divine grace can make us ascend). To be a disciple demands our accepting Jesus' yoke, while remembering his yoke is «good» and his burden is «light». I do not know, however, whether we are convinced this is really so. To live as a Christian in our present context is not such an easy thing, for we have to opt for values that go upstream. Not to get carried away by money, prestige or power demands a great effort. If we want to achieve it by ourselves, it may become an impossible task. But with Jesus everything is possible and good.