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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A

Matthew 11:25-30

“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 the childlike.” (Matthew 11:25)

Jesus’ opening words to the Father are of praise for those who are “childlike.” Other translations may be “little ones” or “babes.” Yet these identifiers are things we fight against in a culture of independence and self-sufficiency. So why are the “little ones” worthy of praise?

Calling ourselves beloved sons and daughters of God includes a deeper vulnerability; acknowledging that like “babes” we are needy. Do I honestly call out to the LORD in my needs, desires, and hurts? Do I continue to cry out in the expectant hope that He will satisfy my needs? Being childlike allows me to embrace the reality that I need to be held, loved, and chosen as His beloved child. He daily welcomes us as we are and delights in a trusting surrender, so that He can provide in abundance. In our poverty, we can receive the pure gift of faith in a God who tenderly says “I will give you rest”.

Being childlike also recognizes room for growth and learning. The word “yoke” can also refer to obedience to the Torah as a rabbinic metaphor. To meekly and humbly accept a yoke is to recognize that I am in need of formation in my will, strength, and desires; where obedience and reliance upon God’s Word is how I grow. Do I embrace my daily crosses, however menial, as opportunities of learning and instruction? The honest picture is that I am frequently looking for excuses or how to get out of my crosses. Jesus instead invites us to accept the daily yokes, with the faith He will waste nothing in our formation if we vulnerably accept them as opportunities for growth. Will we risk believing His Word is true, and embracing the cross from a place of littleness, so that He can transform our yokes to be “easy” and “light”?

May we never try to graduate from being dependent children in need of His love, attention, and gentle instruction. And may the embracing of our “yokes” become the opportunity for His abundant grace to meet our needs.


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