Jesus is meek and lowly. And he asks us to learn from him, so that we may find rest.
The Gospel reading last Sunday spoke about how much it would cost to follow Jesus (Mt 10, 37-42). And the Teacher demanded complete loyalty. Even if it meant painful break with the family and great suffering. Today’s Gospel, in contrast, says that the Teacher is meek and lowly. And the yoke that he “sells” is easy, and his burden light.
Of course, the demanding and the meek are one. It is just that I do not understand all at once. For Jesus is so much more than what we humans can grasp or say about him at a given time.
“Demanding”, on the one hand, tells us not to kid ourselves. That is, we should not think that God does not hold us accountable. To think so is to mock his grace that overflows all the more where sin increases (Rom 5, 20; Gal 6, 7). It is to become like those who boast of their greed and spurn the Lord (Ps 10). That would be to cast a Jesus “who says ‘yes’ to everything” (Sin aguijón).
On the other hand, “meek” makes clear that the Messiah is meek and rides on an ass. He does not ride a war horse in triumph; still, he says and does what is true and right (Ps 45, 4). He faithfully speaks for and demands justice. But meek, he neither cries out in the street nor breaks a bruised reed (Is 42, 2-4).
The new in being meek and lowly
So, we must not mistake the firmness of Jesus for the power that the children of this world want for themselves. Such mistake turns Christian faith into a religion of interest, fears and magic. And it is not at all unlikely that it leads us to covet what belongs to others. To scorn and exploit them and our common home.
But to keep the true religion, we have to be among the little ones. For the Father reveals to them these things he hides from the wise.
And this is part of the new that Jesus brings in. The Father, yes, has handed over to him all things. And no one knows the Father but the Son and anyone to whom he wishes to reveal the Father. And he reveals the God who sends away the rich empty and lifts up the lowly. He also fills the hungry with good things, with Christ’s flesh and blood even. God does choose those who are nothing to turn those who are something into nothing.
Lord Jesus, through your Spirit, make us belong to you and to the poor who keep the true religion (SV.EN XI:190; (SV.EN XII:142). May we believe, touch and taste the words of life. And may our illnesses, troubles and needs turn easy and light. For you help us (St. Augustine), and we learn from you, who are meek and lowly.
5 July 2020
14th Sunday in O.T. (A)
Zech 9, 9-10; Rom 8, 9. 11-13; Mt 11, 25-30