Friday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
we often turn our hearts
into houses of pride and greed
rather than into homes of love and goodness
where you can feel at home.
Destroy the temple of sin in us,
drive out all evil from our hearts
and make us living stones of a community
in which can live and reign
your Son Jesus Christ,
our living Lord for ever and ever.
2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 11,25-30
At that time
Jesus exclaimed, 'I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding
these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little
children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.
been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father,
just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son
chooses to reveal him.
'Come to me,
all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my
yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find
rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'
• Today we celebrate the feast of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the Gospel we will listen to the invitation of Jesus:
“Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart”. The Gospel shows the
tenderness with which Jesus welcomes, accepts the little ones. He wanted the
poor to find rest and peace in him.
• The context of chapters 11 and 12 of
Matthew. In this context is stressed and made evident the fact that the
poor are the only ones to understand and to accept the wisdom of the Kingdom. Many
people did not understand this preference of Jesus for the poor and the
a) John the Baptist, who looked at Jesus
with the eyes of the past, had doubts (Mt 11, 1-15)
b) The people, who looked at Jesus with a
purpose of their own interests, were not capable to understand him (Mt 11,
c) The great cities around the lake, which
listened to Jesus’ preaching and saw the miracles, did not want to open
themselves to his message (Mt 11, 20-24).
d) The wise and the Doctors, who judged
everything according to their own science, were not capable to understand the
preaching of Jesus (Mt 11, 25).
e) Not even his relatives understood him
(Mt 12, 46-50).
f) Only the little ones understood him and
accepted the Good News of the Kingdom (Mt 11, 25-30).
g) The others want sacrifice, but Jesus
wants mercy (Mt 12, 1-8).
h) The reaction against Jesus impels the
Pharisees to want to kill him (Mt 12, 9-14).
i) They said that Jesus was Beelzebul (Mt
j) But Jesus did not draw back. He
continues to assume the mission of Servant, as described in the prophecies (Mt
12, 15-21). This is why he was persecuted and condemned to death.
• Matthew 11, 25-26: Only the little
ones understand and accept the Good News of the Kingdom. Jesus addresses a
prayer to the Father: “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for
hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little
children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do!” The wise,
the doctors of that time, had created a series of laws which they imposed upon
the people in the name of God. They thought that God demanded this observance
from the people. But the Law of love, brought by Jesus, said the contrary. What
is important is not what we do for God, but rather what God, in his great love,
does for us! People understood the words of Jesus and were filled with joy. The
wise thought that Jesus was not right. They could not understand this teaching
which modified the relationship of the people of God.
• Matthew 11, 27: The origin of the New
Law: The Son knows the Father. Jesus, the Son, knows the Father. He knows
what the Father wanted when, centuries before, he gave the Law to Moses. What
the Father wants to tell us, he handed it to Jesus, and Jesus revealed it to
the little ones, because they opened themselves to his message. Today, also,
Jesus continues to teach many things to the poor and to the little ones. The
wise and the intelligent do well if they become pupils of the little ones!
• Matthew 11, 28-30: “Come
to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest”. Jesus
invites all those who are tired to find rest in him. These are the people who
are tired under the weight of the impositions and the observances which the law
of purity demanded. And he says: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble
in heart”. Many times this phrase has been manipulated to ask people to
submit themselves, to be passive. What Jesus wants to say is the contrary. He
asks people to leave aside the professors of religion of that time, to rest and
to begin to learn from him, from Jesus, who is “gentle and humble of heart”. Jesus
does not do like the Scribes who pride themselves of their own science, but he
is like the people who live humiliated and exploited. Jesus, the new teacher,
knows from experience what happens in the heart of the people and how much the
• The invitation of divine wisdom to all
those who seek it. Jesus invites all those who are oppressed under the
weight of the observance of the law to find rest in him, because he is gentle
and humble of heart, capable of relieving and consoling the people who suffer,
who feel tired and depressed (Mt 11, 25-30). In this invitation resound the
beautiful words of Isaiah who consoled the people who lived in exile (Is 55,
1-3). This invitation is bound to divine wisdom, which invites persons to the
encounter with her (Ws 24, 19), saying: “her ways are filled with delight;
her paths all lead to contentment” (Pr 3, 17). And he adds: “Wisdom brings up
her own children and cares for those who seek her. Whoever loves her, loves
life, those who seek her early will be filled with joy” (Si 4, 11-12). This
invitation reveals a very important characteristic of the feminine face of God:
tenderness and acceptance which consoles, which gives life to persons and leads
them to feel well. Jesus is defence, the protection and the maternal womb which
the Father offers to people who are tired (cfr. Is 66, 10-13).
4) Personal questions
• What produces tension in you and what
gives you peace? For you, to live in community, is it a source of tension or of
• How can these words of Jesus help our
community to be a place of rest for our life?
5) Concluding Prayer
tenderness and pity,
slow to anger
and rich in faithful love;
his indignation does not last for ever,
nor his resentment remain for all time. (Ps 103,8-9)