Today my dear friend the Lord comes to us on an ass, on a donkey, a King on a donkey. This is what we read from the first reading from Zechariah 9:9-10. Of course, this image reminds us of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and how our King was going to be seated on his throne in Jerusalem, on a donkey, the poorest of animals. Not on the magnificent royal horse, but on a miniature beast of burden, a donkey. There are two things we need to learn from this. First, we see how ordinarily he comes to us, how it is in an ordinary and poor fashion that he comes to us, not in a majestic manner. Most times we feel that the Lord would come to us in something of a noise, of sirens and convoys, and other times also we feel that the Lord needs some royal preparation from us, as though he wants to visit us in festive moods alone, and in high spirits. But today we learn that Our Lord wants to come to us in every mood, in fact, in our ordinary life, in our day to day activities, in the little things that color and busy our lives, that is where God wants to meet us, ordinarily.
It is also in this ordinariness of our lives that we find our burdens, things that cause us anxieties and worry, things that cause us to plan and disturb ourselves, things that cause to keep late nights and burn midnight candles, these things are not in high lives that we don’t live, but in the ordinary lives that we live, these are precisely the things that characterize us, that define us. That is precisely the door which he knocks on. Like the priest said to us at Mass today, it happens that when God comes to meet us in our ordinary lives we are not around to meet him, when he comes and knocks it happens that we do not open the door for him to enter and help us with our burdens.
In today’s gospel, from Matthew 11:25-30, Jesus tells us to come, to come to him, all of us who labor and are overburdened and that he will give us rest, that we should take his yoke upon us and learn from him, for he is meek and humble of heart, and we will find rest for ourselves. Why don’t we do this? Notice that the Lord did not say we wouldn’t have burdens, rather, he is offering us his, he is offering to carry the burdens with us. He is offering us a chance to let our burden be his burdens; that is where we would find rest.
The problem happens to be that most of us do not want rest; most of us are so used to heavy burdens that we desire to be crushed, to be pitied, to be felt sorry for. We are so used to our restlessness and lack of peace of soul, that we refuse God’s hand. In our ordinary life, we prefer to be the beaten ones and not experience the Joy and the liberty that comes from God. Dearest friends, it is time for us to rise up from the dusts and ashes that we lay helpless in and embrace the helping hand of God. It is time for us to have peace and enjoy that peace and joy that comes from being children of God. It is time for us to be people who offer Love and Mercy to others and not people who demand for it. Like in the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, it is time for us to be instruments of peace and not victims of war, it is time for us to desire more and more to show people love without being the ones expecting others to how show us love, to show people care, kindness and forgiveness without being the ones expecting care and kindness, to notice people without being the ones expecting people to notice us, because like the prayer says, it is giving that we receive, and it is pardoning that we are pardoned.
This Sunday, let us decide to be apostles of peace and Joy, and not victims of war and sadness. Let us bring Christ to others and let them experience an easy yoke and a light burden, so that we may all enjoy that liberty that the Lord has been pleased to grant us his children.
From your friend and brother: Chibuzor F. Ogamba