Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
In our celebration of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, we saw that when the Lord Jesus established his Church, he gave St. Peter the keys to his kingdom. When we talk about kingdoms, we often have images of kings and queens, royalty and nobility, palaces and vast territories. There is always something grand in our idea of kingdoms. Thus, we think that those invited into the kingdom should be the best, the brightest, and the strongest. Thus, the words of the Lord might come as a surprise for he invites the humble into his kingdom, he reveals the secrets of the same kingdom to the little ones: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
The Catechism teaches us: “The Kingdom belongs to the poor and the lowly, which means those who have accepted it with humble hearts. Jesus is sent to ‘preach good news to the poor’; he declares them blessed, for ‘theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.’ To them, the ‘little ones’, the Father is pleased to reveal what remains hidden from the wise and the learned.” (CCC, 544.)
The Kingdom belongs to the poor and the lowly because he, the King himself, is humble, meek, and gentle of heart. He is rich and powerful for “all things have been handed over to (him) by the Father.” And yet, he is “meek and humble of heart.” He is in possession of the most profound secrets for “no one knows the Father except the Son,” and yet, he hides this secret from the wise and the learned and reveals them to little ones. “Jesus shares the life of the poor, from the cradle to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst, and privation. Jesus identifies himself with the poor of every kind and makes active love towards them the condition for entering his Kingdom.” (CCC, 544.)
Here we see how the mind of God is so much different from the mind of the world. We see here how the way of the Spirit is so much different from the way of the flesh. Power, wealth, influence, pleasure – all these deemed as important by the flesh are unimportant to the Holy Spirit. In fact, these are even dangerous for “if you live according to the flesh, you will die.” Being the little ones to whom the Lord Jesus revealed the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven, we should put to death the deeds of the body and take Christ’s yoke upon ourselves. Christ’s yoke is his humble submission to the Father’s will. He humbled himself, obediently accepting even death on a Cross. And this is the irony: the more we insist on doing our will, the more we live according to the flesh, the more enslaved we become, all the more we become burdened. But when we die to our will and take up the yoke of Christ, the more we find rest for ourselves, all the more do we become truly alive.
Therefore, let us live by the Spirit. Let us take his yoke upon ourselves and learn from him who is meek and humble of heart. Striving to fulfill his will, we have no fear of being burdened. For the Cross which we embrace is his Cross. The will we submit to is His will. His yoke is easy and his burden is light!
Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!