Overarching Theme: Humble Submission before the Word of God, our source of rest and joy
Fr. Jude’s Homily
Man has a questing soul by nature. We are always looking for meaning. A central theme of today’s Gospel is that Christ is: (a) Wisdom Incarnate, (b) the one who ultimately reveals the Father, (c) inviting all to come to him to share in his intimate knowledge of the Father. To heed his invitation is to live a life of wisdom, which guarantees us rest and an abiding sense of fulfillment.
But to do this, we must be willing to humbly submit before the Word of God
Such a submission is not merely external but comprises an acceptance of God’s word (i.e. the Scripture and teachings of the Church) and to let this be one’s guide
When we do the above, we find the wisdom that Christ imparts to be freeing and capable of giving us true rest
The Blessed Virgin Mary is our perfect exemplar of this truth
She humbled herself before the word of God by her humble acceptance of God’s invitation to her
And in this lies her blessedness – “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (see: Luke 1:45), says Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, to her.
Is it any wonder then that the Mother encourages us to do the same – “Do whatever he tells you”! (see: John 2:5).
Beloved: Christ invites us today – “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.”
The yoke – used for harnessing an animal to do farm work, providing discipline and direction – was also in Judaism a symbol/imagery in connection with Wisdom and Torah/the Law (See, for instance: Sirach 51:25-26).
The yoke that Jesus speaks of therefore is about being in relationship with him; the burden (which is light) is the teaching he imparts. Only those who humbly submit before God, not those who in their own estimation are wise, can heed the invitation of Christ
Again, the invitation for us is to humbly submit before Christ who is the Word of God and Wisdom Incarnate. We do so by daily striving to let God’s word find a home in our hearts and to be our guide in the choices we make.
Mary submitted herself and accepted wholeheartedly the Word of God, and so is blessed.
CONCLUSION/APPLICATION: This week, let us:
Prayerfully reflect on Christ’s invitation to us
Ask for the grace of the Spirit to help us see in what areas of our lives we might be resisting or rejecting God’s word/invitation, and to trustingly make amends so as to experience the rest Christ promises. Remember, true rest and blessedness consists in submitting to God’s word.