Matthew 21:33-43 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time October 4, 2020
October 3, 2020
Message 0064 – October 6, 2020
October 6, 2020

Matthew 11:25-30 – Solemnity-St. Francis of Assisi October 4, 2020

October 4, 2020 – Solemnity-St. Francis of Assisi
Sirach 50:3-4, 6-7
Galatians 6:14-19
Matthew 11:25-30

A. Text/Context

  • The gospel today speaks of an admonition and a reminder for all of us who have the tendency to become proud and arrogant very much like the scribes and the Pharisees
  • Jesus thanked the Father in heaven hiding these things from the wise and the learned and revealed them to the little ones
  • This means that the wisdom of God and the mysteries of God are hidden from the proud because they know a lot but given to the innocent and the ignorant because they rely on God
  • In a Jewish society, as referred to in the gospel are two classes of people: First, the wise and the learned – examples of these are the scribes and the Pharisees
  • They are the educated, the knowledgeable, and at the same time the proud and the arrogant because of what they know
  • Second, are the little ones – they are the uneducated, the poor, the innocent, the anawim and the ignorant and actually in this gospel these little ones are his disciples
  • They are the ones who are oppressed and they suffer a lot because of the law
  • The law of the Jews known as the Torah is the center of their life in the practice of their religion known as Judaism
  • The scribes and the Pharisees are the wise and the learned and they are the interpreters of the law
  • Many times, in the gospels Jesus would have heated arguments and debates with the Pharisees because of the interpretation of the law
  • And these people give a lot of sufferings to the poor. The Jews already have the 10 commandments to follow from Moses and they are more than enough to be pleasing in the eyes of God
  • As Jewish society developed, the laws also multiplied and would you believe that the Jews have 613 laws not to mention the 10 commandments, it is humanly impossible that they cannot transgress a single law in a single day
  • We can just imagine how difficult life is under a Jewish society in Jesus’ time. And this is the burden of suffering that the poor carry in their lives in their day to day living
  • So that at the end of the gospel Jesus gives an invitation:“Come to me all you who labor and burdened and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light”
  • Jesus understands very well the situation of the poor people at that time because of the yoke of the law
  • Jesus invites the little ones who are burdened to follow him just by simple obedience to his teachings
  • The law must not be a burden to the people because man is not made for the law
  • It’s the other way around, the law must serve people.

B. Human Situation

  • After more than 1200 years Francis arrived. If Francis was only alive in Jesus’ time, I am very sure he could have been one of Jesus disciples
  • The surrender of the last clothing that covers of his body is so rich with signs and symbolisms:
  • That he gives himself totally to God so that he relies totally on the providence of God
  • Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest. My yoke is easy and my burden light
  • Our little ambition to become rich, to become popularand famous, and maybe even to become powerful, what did Francis do? He did the exact opposite. He gave up everything instead of taking everything
  • We have the tendency to become self-righteous especially if we have the knowledge because we are educated
  • We look down upon the ignorant who does not know anything. If we know a lot, we begin to justify the mistakes we did, so we cannot be wrong with what we do because there is always a justified reason for a defense. Knowledge and intelligence could harden our hearts
  • If we believe that we are already self-sufficient then we do not need God anymore! We do not need salvation because we never recognize that we are sinners because we justify every sin, we commit
  • In this case God will never reveal to us His wisdom and mysteries.It is always good to be intelligent, educated, and knowledgeable. It is a gift, what I mean is that we must not be enslaved by it
  • We could become slaves of the values of the world and the consequence of this; there will be a lot of people who will suffer because we do not rectify our mistakes
  • God will never reveal to us His love and wisdom because we are blinded with pride and arrogance
  • This we will understand that indeed, the wisdom of God is revealed to the humble of heart
  • And foremost in the example of the humility of heart is the man whom we celebrate his feast today: our Holy Father Francis, the poor man of Assisi, or the Poverello
  • Why is it that men and women have followed Francis by entering the great mendicant order and religious congregations?
  • Is it because Francis was intelligent and knowledgeable? He never was!
  • Francis understands the most sublime truth and wisdom of God even though he is bereft of knowledge in theology
  • He has no background at all in theology. And the reason why he understands is what exactly the gospel is talking about: Father I thank you for you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned but you have revealed them to the childlike
  • What makes Francis so attractive and magnetic? It is his poverty, it is his humility
  • It is because of the humility of Francis that he was able to understand the wisdom of God
  • His being lowly, his being poor, his openness to the promptings of the Spirit are the traits that make him ready to be at the disposal of God and this is now the key towards wisdom
  • Francis understands that it is very difficult to bow our heads in humility if we are enslaved by the trappings of wealth and knowledge
  • Francis understands that in disposing all the material trappings of life he is now in total freedom to love and serve God

C. Challenge

  • My brothers and sisters, there are many times in our lives that we succumb to the temptations of pride and arrogance most especially if we have the disposal of wealth and power, if we have money and we are in a position of authority
  • Let it be that despite the many fortunes and success that we have in the field of our profession, in business, in work and in whatever areas of human life we will not be blinded by it
  • The revelation of the love and wisdom of God can never be understood by mere human knowledge and intelligence alone
  • It can only be revealed to us in the eyes of faith, and the requirement is a heart full of humility to be able to listen and discern the voice of the Spirit
  • We continue to rely and depend totally in God with a childlike heart in order to know the proper directions in our life
  • In this way my sisters and brothers, the love and wisdom of God will be revealed to us because we already possess the humility of heart
  • Lest we forget, pride blinds us to see the beauty of the wisdom of God, so let us do the opposite because humility is the beginning of wisdom

 

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