Soul Food for Sundays

A Reflection for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 9th July 2023 

Reflections 9th July 2023
Matthew 11:25-30

The Author: Ronan Barry
calendar_today Date: June 27, 2023 - 2 minutes read

Today’s Gospel encapsulates one of my favourite passages in all the Gospels. “Come to me all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 

In Jesus’s time on Earth, the religious law of the day was burdensome to the ordinary person. It laid unrealistic expectations on the shoulders of people who were struggling with life. Fast-forward some 2000 years, and the context of today is that society often places a burden of expectation on people, especially the young. 

Many in our society today suffer with anxiety and other issues of well-being where expectations to conform are placed on people’s shoulders. In a previous reflection, I shared my thoughts on the phrase ‘snowflake generation’, and today through the gospel we are reminded that Jesus’s response to people who are carrying burdens is that he is ‘gentle and humble in heart’, not righteous and judgemental. 

Any notion that Jesus sits in judgement is false. This needs to be said. More importantly we need to witness in our lives and actions to God’s love of those who are most burdened in life. Our faith community should be a place where people can find encouragement, support and help at times of difficulty. We pray for the gift of grace as we continue to strive to live as Jesus lived. As the Book of Lamentations reminds us; “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:24) 

Therefore, I Hope 
Jan Richardson Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons 

I have no cause
to linger beside
this place of death, 

no reason
to keep vigil
where life has left, 

and yet I cannot go,
cannot bring myself
to cleave myself
from here, 

can only pray
that this waiting 

might yet be a blessing
and this grieving
yet a blessing
and this stone
yet a blessing
and this silence
yet a blessing

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

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Ronan Barry

Ronan is Director of Spiritan Mission Ireland, set up in 2017 to respond, in line with Spiritan charism, to the current context of the Irish Spiritan Province and Church. He was part of the Spiritan education team for over ten years. He lives with his family in Co. Kildare.