On this 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A, the word of God invites us to establish a true, faithful and close relationship with Jesus that he may assists us in bearing our burdens and we may find rest for our souls.

In the first reading, the Prophet Zechariah talks of a saving king who comes to save his people and give them peace not by power or weapons but by gentleness and humility. Jesus appropriates this prophecy of Zechariah to himself in the Gospel reading of today as he invites all to come to him and he’ll give us rest.

There’s virtually nobody in this period living in this world that is not troubled either by sickness, by disease, by hunger, by poverty, fear of the unknown, problems in your family, senseless husband, difficult wife, disobedient children, wicked in-laws and neighbours, threats from one corner to another. We’re all troubled on every side. Jesus invites us to approach him, to come to him.

There are however three stages of progress in responding to this call:

  1. Approach him
  2. To be ready and open to learn from him and embrace his qualities:
  3. Only then can we find rest for our souls

This is what St. Paul talks about in the second reading when he insists that the spirit of Christ must live in our hearts for us to gain eternal life. This Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of humility and gentility which he demonstrated by riding on a donkey instead of on a horse which represented royalty. No wonder, Jesus today begins by thanking his father for hiding the mysteries of the kingdom from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.

A proud man is like a bottle filled with either wine, water or groundnut. Nothing else can enter. Life na jeje. I.T.K no dey pay. Jesus demands us to bend and learn from him. To listen and follow him. To take things easy. Only then can we have rest for our souls.

Let us then ponder on the rich words of this beautiful hymn by Vep B. Ellis and William F. Lakey:

Have you a heart that’s weary
Tending a load of care?
Are you a soul that’s seeking
Rest from the burden you bear?

Chorus :
Do you know (do you know) my Jesus?
Do you know (do you know) my friend?
Have you heard (have you heard) He loves you?
And that He will abide till the end (till the end)?

Who knows your disappointments?
Who hears each time you cry?
Who understands your heartaches?
Who dries the tears from your eyes?

Jesus alone can bear our burdens
Jesus alone knows our needs
Jesus alone cares about our worries
Come to him and you’ll find rest for your soul.

Good morning and happy Sunday!