Homily for 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

posted Jul 4, 2020, 7:17 AM by Michelle Massung

Homily for 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A


            This weekend, we celebrate Independence Day, the birth of our nation and our independence from England.  Isn’t being independent one of our ideals as citizens? Aren’t we taught at an early age to grow up and to deal with things on our own? To pull up our bootstraps and take care of things? Aren’t some of our heroes guys like John Wayne, the Marlboro man, the Lone Ranger, Amelia Earhart, people that did things on their own?  I think you get my point.  To me, that is why today’s Gospel can be difficult for us adults.  Children still are dependent on their parents and teachers, etc, to help them to grow and develop.  However, once we become adults, we pride ourselves on making it on our own; to fulfill the American dream.

            Yet, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to take his yoke upon ourselves.  What does he mean by this well known phrase?  Well a yoke is a large wooden beam with holes cut out so that the beam can be attached to farm animals to allow the master or farmer to control their direction.  The yoke prevents either animal from wandering off on their own.  Because of the yoke, they are forced to work together for a common goal, the work of the farmer. 

            So who is the farmer?  It is God the Father and by being attached to Jesus in the yoke, we work together with Jesus to do the will of the Father.  We can’t wander off on our own and to get into trouble or be too independent.  Like I mentioned earlier, we Americans appreciate our independence and being dependent on somebody else, like when we were children can be viewed as a weakness.  However, Jesus tells us that we need to be like children in our relationship with him; to be dependent on him for direction and guidance.  I know that in my own life that when I tried to do things on my own, that is when I got into the most trouble.  When my pride was raging in full force, I was too blind to see the error of my thinking and this is what led me into my sins of drinking, carousing, and self-centeredness. 

            So what are some of the burdens that we have in our lives that we can turn over to Jesus?  What about all the things we worry about?  The weather, our health, the health of our loved ones, our finances, whether relatives return to church, and so many others.  Our worrying shows that we are concerned, yet does worrying solve any of our problems?  No.  Working with and trusting Jesus can help ease the burden.   For example, if we are worried about health issues, have we been doing everything the doctor has told us to do? Have we invited someone that has been away from the church to attend one of the lunches here at the parish?  Have we called our loved ones that may be lonely or ill and told them that we are concerned about them?  These may not eliminate or solve all the problems we face, however, they do give us reassurance that Jesus and others are here to help us.  All we need to do is swallow our pride and ask for help. 

            This week, examine your heart to see what is burdening you in your life and turn this over to Jesus.  He is here to help us if we just ask.  As he tells us, his yoke is easy and his burden is light, if we are willing to accept his help.