- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

July 20, 2017

Fr. John Eudes Bamberger, OCSO [1]

15th Thursday of Ordinary Time
Exodus 3:13-20; Matthew 11:25-30

In reading the Gospel accounts of the miraculous conception of Jesus, and of the miracles he worked in his public life we readily believe that he was endowed with unique gifts from His Father during his life on earth. He stated this himself in an impressive manner when he was arrested in the garden. He told Peter who sought to defend him, to put up his sword, that if he wished to be protected from arrest he could ask and the Father would send thousands of angels to save him. These words of Jesus offer us a glimpse of his inner life during his years on earth. Throughout his years as man he was freely accepting the limits imposed on him by his human condition, although, if he wished, he could avoid the various sources of irritation and suffering that his human nature exposed him to.

This feature of his life on earth allows us to recognize that our Savior was from his earliest times willingly submitting to the limitations, stresses, and sufferings that all humans experience from earliest years. There remains much that is unknown to us concerning most of the time our Lord lived as a man among other men. Even though we are told a good deal about his public life Yet there is much more that we do not know. Saint John, who knew him so intimately, informs us that there is more left untold than is written concerning our Lord’s activities. Even so we have our Lord’s own assurance given to Thomas that to know him is to know the Father.

Today’s Gospel text stands out among the rest of Matthew’s work for the intimate insight it provides into the inner attitude of our Lord, How openly he expresses his inner attitude to people, with what warmth he declares the disposition of his heart as he exclaims; ”Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and  will give you rest.” Yet he goes on to make it clear that to join oneself to him entails submitting to a burden , but one that will prove to be light, easy to bear. In making such a submission  We will discover for ourselves, as he further adds, assuring us, as he states, “For I am meek and humble of heart.”

He renews that assurance to each of us at the Eucharist this morning, inviting us to put our faith in his word, the word of eternal Life.