2020 July 5 Ordinary Time (9) Come to me

Zechariah 9:9-12, Psalm 145:8-14; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Opening Prayer

Open my ears to hear the good news of the love and grace at the heart of the universe.
Open my eyes to see how that love and grace move in mysterious ways around me.
Open my heart to receive this incomparable gift and open my hands to pass it on.
Amen.

Reflection:  Come to me

We’re a bit of a mess, even in the best of times. As Paul says in today’s passage from Romans (7:15-25a), we have good intentions but often don’t meet them. We know what’s right but do what’s convenient or gratifying or just easier. We can’t think or act or buy our way out of some of the messes we find ourselves in. And we are weary. Who will rescue me from this body of death?, Paul cries. And then answers in a heartbeat: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

That’s grace. Amazing grace.

We cannot save ourselves. And God knows it. Gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,….. God is faithful in all works and gracious in all deeds. God upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down (Psalm 145:8, 13b-14).

And so God in self-giving love sends Jesus – fully human, fully divine. And from that love issues the Holy Spirit, whose wings continue to spread over the earth. At the very heart of the universe is the Three-in-One love that is the Holy Trinity. It is a dance of mutual indwelling, of respect and adoration, a fount from which flows an everflowing stream of love. God invites us into this relationship. There is a place at the table for us.

Rublov’s famous icon of the Trinity from the 15th century depicts the Trinity around the table. It is based on the story of Abraham’s visitation by the angels by the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18). In the icon the Father on the left in a diaphanous robe of many colours raises a hand in blessing or sending to the Son in garments the colour of the earth and sky. The Son will be rooted to earth in his time; his right hand also blesses and points to the Spirit. She is dressed in the blue of sky and green of growing things, where she will comfort, guide and inspire. Behind Jesus we see a tree – the tree of death became the tree of life for us. Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

The image invites us to come, rest and drink. There is space at the table for us.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30). No one has to carry their burdens alone.

Fully human, Jesus watched Joseph make yokes from green wood; perhaps he made them himself. He knew that two oxen yoked together are far stronger than one. Here he offers to be our yokefellow. He is asking us to trust him to lead us. To let go of thinking that it is all down to us. He is inviting us into a communion that will infect us with gentleness and patience and enable us to walk with a spring in our step and the assurance that all shall be well.

This is grace, amazing grace. This is the love that is at the heart of the universe. This is the source of our being and our becoming.

I open my hands and let the burdens fall where they may. I pick up Christ’s yoke: it is light – it is made of light. I lift my head and see the world and myself anew.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, indeed.  Amen.

Hymn   I heard the voice of Jesus say     R&S 349

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast.’
I came to Jesus as I was
forlorn and faint and sad;
I found in him a resting-place,
and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down, and drink, and live.’
I came to Jesus, and I drank
from his life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘I am this dark world’s light;
look unto me, your morn shall rise,
and all your day be bright.’
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I’ll walk,
‘til traveling days are done.

Blessing

God’s grace be upon us
and upon this world.
May the sick be healed,
the grieving consoled,
the despairing filled with hope
and the hungry fed.
And at day’s end,
may we rest in the love
at the heart of the universe.
Amen.

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