Sunday, July 5, 2020

Can You Hold Me? (A Reflection for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Wally and I were invited to share a reflection on the readings for Mass this Sunday, July 5, 2020, at From His Heart, our parish blog.

"Can you hold me?"

Our 4-year-old gets overwhelmed easily. Especially these past few months, he doesn't understand why our busy household  work, school, parish life, extracurricular activities  stopped with little warning back in March. Almost hourly each day, he finds us, reaches up, and asks, "Can you hold me?" 
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones."1
As parents, we carry similar anxiety, wanting to control circumstances beyond our expertise and understanding, frustrated when things don't go the way we think they should, feeling pressured to count ourselves among "the wise and the learned" instead of the "little ones." 

Father, Lord of heaven and earth, can you hold me? 

A few years ago, we were cutting down a large dead tree in our yard. One wrong estimation, and we'd have a 30-foot tree across the road, in our kitchen window, or worse, on top of one of us. The sound of a chainsaw called our neighbors to their driveways to watch.

After several cuts, we began talking anxiously under the precarious tree. Had we cut far enough through the trunk? Why wasn't the tree falling? The YouTube video showed you cut this way and then that way and then it comes down. 

We finally swallowed our pride and called over our neighbor for help. Within minutes, he pulled the ropes and directed the tree in a perfect crash onto our yard. 

A job that was causing great anxiety became instantly simpler with the presence of a caring, competent friend. 
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest."2
Am I receiving the comfort and rest of God's presence? Or am I trying to carry heavy burdens alone? Father, Lord of heaven and earth, can you hold me? 
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves."3 
"Take my yoke upon you," Jesus offers in this Sunday's Gospel (emphasis added).

Am I carrying Jesus' yoke  with his help  or am I carrying burdens alone? Things become so complicated when we push forward alone. Father, Lord of heaven and earth, can you hold me? 
"...For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."4 
Lord, please transform the worry of my daily work and the overwhelming concerns around me with the peace of your presence. Father, Lord of heaven and earth, can you hold me? 

2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.

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