Dear One and All,
Well, here we are again, so let’s sit back with a Cuppa in hand, maybe a nice hot slice of toasted RaisinBread…I know, it can be a bit risky having all of that so close to the Keyboard…. Now, at the end of this little Homily, there will be some: ‘realhomilies on line community’ notices. So, let’s get started on our deep sea diving into God’s Word.
A few years ago, I remember the time when Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace prize in Oslo. The ‘powers-that-be’ didn’t really know how to deal with her! They sent two Limousines to the Airport to meet her, one for her, the other for her luggage! She arrived smiling, with her personal belongings in a shopping bag, accompanied by another Sister from her Institute of the Missionaries of Charity. The welcoming committee was completely at a loss as to what to do! They would have had no problem at all with Heads of State, and other dignitaries, but with this little frail woman, dressed in very ordinary cotton clothes, (her Habit) like those worn in the poorer parts of India. She had some sort of extraordinary aura about her. It seems that she unintentionally
made them feel powerless, and they were in awe in the presence of a ‘power’, and a ‘strength’ with which they were seemingly unfamiliar. That is what Jesus speaks about in the Gospel today; this is what the Prophet Zechariah looked forward to in hope and joy!
In the first reading from the Old Testament, the Prophet Zechariah (zekarah, meaning “The Lord God has remembered) a very common personal name in the Scriptures. Part one of this Book seems to have been written about 520-518 BC, shortly after the return of the Jews from their exile in Babylon. There is a distinct ring of Joy and Hope in today’s first reading. For very good reason is the Joy on their lips, and in their hearts. They are back home! Jerusalem! Jerusalem! However, this Joy and Hope are seen as timeless moments! Through the experience of the exile in Babylon, the corporate minds of the Jewish people had experienced a mighty conversion. Hence, the absence from their homeland, enabled them to undergo a ‘change of heart’ and once again the Lord God, received back his wayward Bride.
The wisdom and faith (insight) of Zechariah, and the community who put together this part of God’s Word, has the Hymn of rejoicing coming from the lips of the Lord God……’The Lord says this: Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion…..’ But there is a ‘looking forwardness’ to a time when ‘Humility’ will be in fleshed within a
Messiah King, whose ‘power’ will be manifested through the identification with the ‘poor of the Lord God’. This kind of ‘power’ is foreign to so called worldly power; it has the effect of disabling the quests and desires of those
who seek to implement its opposite regime. ‘As it says in the Reading, ‘the bow of war will be banished. He will proclaim peace (Shalom) for the nations. His empire shall stretch from sea to sea, from the River (Euphrates in Babylonia) to the ends of the earth’.
Who can understand this disabling power, which emanates from the Lord God, as a free gift to us? The Scriptures are alive with people who believe, and live this SHALOM! The Scriptures are also alive with people who are antagonised by this in fleshed SHALOM! The world is the home to all of this, and at times those who are antagonised by the ‘lived humility’ and love of God in His people, seem to triumph! If you have not had the opportunity to see a great Movie which is presently screening at the Cremorne Orpheum, The Palace in Newtown, and The Verona in Paddington…do yourself a favour, and be riveted to your seats for 120 minutes…’Of God’s and Men’……In a modern day setting, just a few years ago, we experience the life of a community of ordinary Muslims, and a Community of everyday Trappist Monks in Algiers…In short, the
faces change, but the message remains the same. Check the ABOUT page for more information about this fantastic Film.
In the Gospel of today, we notice the ones who ‘SEE’ what Jesus is talking about, and those who are BLIND
to what Jesus is saying. The wonderful living metaphor of ‘children’ is used about those who SEE what Jesus is
saying. Jesus, is not saying that we should all become like little kids again……no way, but Jesus is using the spontaneity, the purity of intention, the ‘rush’ within a child who is drawn towards goodness and love as a true
indicator of ‘the poor of the Lord God.’ I think that Jesus is saying that if we become too sophisticated with worldly ‘WISDOM’ and the quest for glory and power, which treads underfoot God’s people…we are not within a bull’s roar of the kind of INSIGHT/FAITH image of a ‘little child’.
‘Come to me………’ we often say that to little children, don’t we? And what do they do? Most of the time, they smile, and then run towards the one who is inviting. Little children can generally ‘pick up’ if someone likes them or not. Jesus says, ‘Come, and shoulder my Yoke!!’ A Yoke is generally made for two!!!!! Simon of Cyrene shouldered the yoke of Jesus; his Cross. According to St.Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists, ‘The
Cross is the greatest SIGN of God’s love’. The Yoke is the Cross….and the Cross/Yoke is not crafted nicely with felt padding…it is awkward, rough, and cumbersome….Have you ever seen pictures of Oxen in Yoke walking without a load? They look so clumsy! And yet together they can move enormous burdens because of the sharing of the common yoke.
At times all of us probably find life a bit ‘heavy going’. It can make us miserable, depressed and maybe a bit
cranky. In the first reading today from the Old Testament, the Prophet Zechariah can’t wait, and is full of happiness at the prospect that God will one day reach deep into the heart of His people, and unleash a SHALOM which is that which we pray for in the Lord’s Prayer…’thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth,
as it is in Heaven’. He is convinced that God will show them a way to ‘off load’ unnecessary burdens and
personal baggage. Hence, St.Matthew in His Gospel today, sees in Jesus, the Word of God made flesh……the answer to the Prophet Zechariah’s hopes! The answer to our hopes! The Hope for all humanity!
The Lord said to me, ‘Come to me.’ But I said, ‘I’m not worthy.’
‘Come to me’, he repeated. And I said,’ I’m afraid.’
‘Come to me.’ ‘I’m too proud.’
‘Come to me.’’ ‘But I’ve no appointment.’
‘Come to me.’ ‘But I can’t afford the time right now.’
‘Come to me.’ ‘With that I fell silent.’
Then he said, ‘Come….sit down….take the load off your feet. ‘Sit here as in the shade of a tree.’ ‘Refresh yourself as at a running stream. ‘Here you will find rest. Here you will find peace. ‘And your yoke will become easy, and your burden light.’
May the Lord continue to bless you and your families, and may we never forget each other, the next time that we are held in conversation with the Lord,
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HOW OFTEN DO THE PAGES CHANGE ON THIS BLOG?
A very good question! The Home Page is always published by late Thursday night, Friday morning. When published it will email you immediately. Now with the other PAGES, like FUNNIES, ABOUT, CONTACT US, READINGS, they will change during the week, when I get around to putting the material together. FUNNIES, will get added to each week and stay for two weeks. Fr Comagh’s stories will continue from week to week….so you will be able to get to know the Walsh’s, the Priests in the surrounding Villages and Towns, and the local folk, in the quaint little place of Finuge in County Kerry. Have a browse at the other pages from time to time, because
material and pics will be added.
MY FIRST COACHING LESSON FROM COLIN LEE ON BLOGS:
Last Sunday afternoon was a real learning curve for me…..I was busily taking notes and asking questions of Colin about the ins and outs of the BLOG. I know that we say there are not silly questions…..but I did get a few unusual looks from Colin from time to time…but all in good fun. This is a big ‘sea change’ for a bloke like me who was raised up on an Olivetti Typewriter in the Seminary. I must say that I do enjoy this challenge very much! Next lesson coming up soon!
PICS, FUNNIES, STORIES, COMMENTS:
‘realhomilies’ is developing in style and content, so I am sure that you would be getting the drift of what I am on about…so if you have any Pics in jpeg form, funny stories, especially religious ones, and comments on how I can improve this Blog and respond to felt needs…do send them along. Do check out the CONTACT US page.