Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Zechariah, chapter nine, verses nine & ten;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses one & two, eight & nine, ten & eleven, & thirteen & fourteen;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses nine, eleven, twelve, & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eleven, verses twenty-five thru thirty.
Commentary: Video Gospel reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.
Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
In our Gospel today, the king says, "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." He is identifying every person who feels put upon by the world: economic worries, physical suffering, deep injustice, the death of a husband or wife, or the fear of your own death. You surely know what he's referring to—we all do.Mass Journal: Week 28
What is the answer? The answer is submitting to his kingship. "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me." We are meant to imagine ourselves as pack animals. It seems rather demeaning, but this is what submission to Christ's lordship looks like: we serve his purposes and go where he wants us to go.
Is Christ commanding your life in every detail? Is he the Lord of your family life? Of your recreational life? Of your professional life? Of your sexuality? Of your friendships? Are you totally given over to him, under his lordship?
I know that this is starting to sound oppressive, but remember, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." When we surrender to the path of love which he has laid out for us, our lives become infinitely lighter, easier, more joyful, for we are moving with the divine purpose.
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
A man's work may be to collect the trash, but if he does it well, & hour by hour turns to God in his heart & says, Father, I offer You this hour of work as a prayer for my neighbor Karen, who is struggling with cancer… or in thanksgiving for my wife & children, then he has truly discovered & is living the words "pray constantly" (1 Thessalonians, 5:17). He has transformed an hour of work into an hour of prayer. Through his work he has grown in intimacy with God & neighbor, & he has become a better-version-of-himself (sic). The attitude with which we approach our work is crucial. The transformation of ordinary activities into prayer is the very essence of the inner life. Every activity of our day can lead us to experience God. Learn to foster the interior life in this way & will you will a life uncommon in the midst of common circumstances.
Otherwise, 9 July would be the festival of Saint Nicolaas Pieck, Priest (O.F.M.), & Companions, Martyrs (died 1572), A.K.A. the 19 Martyrs of Gorkum, martyred by Calvinist heretics, specifically the Watergeuzen pirates: Martyr-link November Papa & Wikipedia-link November Papa; Martyrs-link XIX & Wikipedia-link XIX.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest, & Companions, Martyrs (died 1648-1930), A.K.A. the 120 Martyrs of China, including Saint Gregorio Grassi, Bishop & Martyr, O.F.M.; martyred in the reign of the imperial Qing dynasty, during the Boxer Rebellion, & in the reign of the Kuomintang "Nationalists:" Martyr-link Alpha Zulu Romeo; Martyrs-link CXX ūnus, Martyrs-link CXX duo, & Wikipedia-link CXX; & Martyr-link Golf Golf ūnus, Martyr-link Golf Golf duo, & Wikipedia-link Golf Golf.
Commentary: Wayback Machine. Many more Christians than these one hundred twenty were martyred in China, especially during the convulsion of the Boxer Rebellion. A number of Protestants of all denominations (the precise number known only to God) are remembered as the China Martyrs of 1900: Wikipedia-link 1900. Our Orthodox brethren also recognize 222 Holy Chinese Martyrs from 1900, exemplified by the priest & martyr Metrophanes (A.K.A. Chi Sung): Wikipedia-link CCXXII.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Veronica Giuliani, Abbess, O.S.C. Cap. (1660-1727), stigmatist: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.