Jul 5 2020 Reflection
Sunday 5 July 2020
First Reading: ZEC 9:9-10
I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
PS 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14
Second Reading: ROM 8:9, 11-13
Gospel Reading: MT 11:25-30
Today’s Note: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
“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 light.”
We are not debtors to the flesh. (Romans 8:12)
Whether it’s a mortgage, a loan from a family member, credit cards, or something else, most of us have some experience of being debtors. We feel the burden of knowing our creditors have some degree of power over us. At times it can feel like having a heavy yoke tied to our shoulders. We also know how freeing it is to be released from a debt. Making that final payment feels so good that we just want to celebrate!
In today’s second reading, St. Paul uses this image of indebtedness to encourage us: “We are not debtors to the flesh” (Romans 8:12). The flesh—that part of you that is attracted to sin—has no more power over you. Because you have been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, you have died and risen with him. You have died to sin and no longer owe it any allegiance. Raised up with Christ, you now have a way out when temptation arises.
Think how wonderful it feels to walk through a temptation and come out on the other side unharmed. Or think about how comforting it is to know that you don’t have to be bound by guilt or destined to repeat your past sins.
Of course, this is easier said than done. We know how strong our fallen desires can be, especially when it comes to habitual sins that have woven their way into our lives. But Paul is announcing a truth that can sustain us if we should fall into sin, just as it can inspire us in the midst of temptation.
So if you lose a battle here or there, you can pray, “Lord, you know how weak I am, but I believe that this sin does not define me. Thank you, Jesus, for abolishing my debt to the flesh!”
Jesus has broken the yoke of sin. So take up his yoke—the yoke of faith and trust—and let him give you rest (Matthew 11:29). Let his good news wash over you today: you are not bound to sin. You don’t owe it anything!
“All praise to you, Jesus, for setting me free from the flesh!”