Scripture Reflection, July 9, 2023, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Zechariah 9:9-10 Romans 8:9, 11-13 Matthew 11:25-30
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you… My yoke is easy and my burden is light. "
In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray that God's will might be done on earth as it is in heaven. And the Eucharist we share reminds us that we are one with the Lord and missioned to be his body on earth. But helping God's will to be done on earth seems anything but “easy”.
Migrants die by the hundreds in the Mediterranean Sea. Men, women and children are starving in Darfur. Wildfires burn out of control, devastating the earth and polluting the air. Surely, this is not God's will. And if we take our mission seriously, we can be overwhelmed. What to do? Where to begin?
Today's gospel reminds us that we do not do the work alone. That the work and the burden are shared by the Lord to whom we are yoked.
When we are tempted to lose sleep over our small contributions to the huge problems we all face, we might do well to remember the promise in today's gospel and the words of a favorite prayer composed by Bishop Kenneth Untener, excerpted below:
“It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts; it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us….
We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something and to do it well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.”
by: Pat Schnee