July 4 – July 5, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today we are faced with so many problems – from the rising prices of fuel and commodities to drug addiction, to kidnappings and violence, to threat of terrorist attacks, social injustice, and now, racism, and uncontrolled rioting and lootings, compounded by personal and family problems. Indeed, these are trying times and moments.

The words of Jesus Christ this Sunday are, therefore, very timely and consoling: “Come to me all you who are weary and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Experiencing weariness and finding life burdensome are part and parcel of human life. There is the ordinary fatigue we feel from hard work – the kind nurses and doctors, cooks, secretaries, teachers, laborers feel after a hard day or hard week’s work. Thus, the saying, accompanied with a sigh of relief: “Thank God, it’s Friday.”

Just as there are different degrees of weariness, so there are different kinds of burdens. There is the ordinary burden of RESPONSIBILITY that comes with being a parent, teacher, manager, leader. Then there is the burden of being sick, handicapped, widowed or separated or divorce. There are also the burdens we bear in looking after others, like taking care of a sick child, spouse, older parents.

Jesus, often described as a friend who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great compassion”, may, in contemporary parlance, be called a “bridge over troubled waters.” He teaches us to cultivate RELINQUISHMENT, the ability to “let go” of our anxieties and to put ourselves in God’s hands.

Too often, we allow our worries and anxieties to overcome us instead of we overcoming them. We are so used to depending on ourselves that we leave no more room for God’s working in our life.

We can only appreciate the blessings of the present because we are acknowledging our dependence on God for our life’s fulfillment. Of course, this dependence should not be an abdication of personal responsibility.

When Christ said “Do not worry,” he did not mean “Do not work.” As much as we ought to depend on God for our daily needs, so must we work hard.

Perhaps our attitude in life should be: “I work hard; I do my part; then I let God do the rest.”

Fr Oscar

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