14th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, you have revealed them to little ones."
There's a saying that goes, "Out of the mouths of babes." It's often used when a child says something surprisingly wise or insightful, something that makes the adults in the room laugh at first before pausing and thinking.
So get ready for a good laugh and a little bit of wisdom from the mouths of babes.
"Never trust a dog to watch your food." – Patrick, age 10
"All you need in life is a friend who has chocolate." – Sophie, age 11
"If your dog doesn’t like somebody, maybe you shouldn’t either." – Liam, age 8
“When your dad is mad and asks you, “Do I look stupid?” Don’t answer him.” – Michael, 14
“Never tell your mom her diet’s not working.” – Michael, 14
“Sometimes you just need to take a nap and get over it.” – Maura, 8
Perhaps Maura's words, in their beautiful simplicity, are closer to the Gospel's truth than one might think at first glance.
What if the 'nap' Maura speaks of isn't just about physical rest but also a spiritual pause, a conscious moment of surrender to God's plan? And the part about 'getting over it' - couldn't it be an invitation to release our burdens and trust in the Divine order of things?
Today's Gospel continues, with Jesus extending an invitation of solace and learning: "Come to me, all you who labor 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
This yoke that Jesus speaks of is not a physical burden, but rather a spiritual bond of love and discipleship. It's about committing to a life of love, compassion, and humility as demonstrated by Jesus Himself. And when we choose to accept this yoke, we are choosing to align our hearts, minds, and actions with His.
Taking His yoke upon us means embracing His teachings and living them out in our day-to-day lives, loving our neighbors as ourselves, forgiving those who hurt us, serving the needy, and striving for peace.
Resting in Jesus, on the other hand, means finding peace and solace in His presence. It's about surrendering our worries, doubts, and fears to Him, trusting in His unfailing love and mercy. It's about seeking His wisdom in times of uncertainty, leaning on Him in times of hardship, and acknowledging His Lordship over our lives.
Just like Maura's advice to take a nap and get over things, Jesus is calling us to rest in Him, to learn from His humility, and to take up His light yoke. His yoke is not one of hardship and weariness, but of love, peace, and rest.
In our lives, we often find ourselves weighed down by the pressures and expectations of the world, struggling under the heavy yoke of worldly wisdom. But today, Jesus offers us an alternative – a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.
In the innocence of a child's words and the compassionate call of Jesus, we find a similar invitation. It's a call to humble ourselves, to take a step back from the wisdom of the world, and to approach our lives with a simple, childlike faith.
So, let's remember to take our 'nap', to take a moment of rest in the Lord. And let us 'get over it', surrendering our burdens to Him. For His yoke is light, His heart is humble, and in Him, we shall find our rest.
Finally, to quote Nathanial, age 4, “You know it was a good day if you didn’t hit or bite anyone.”