July 15, 2020
Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today
Isaiah 10.5-7, 13-16
“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 the childlike.” Matthew 11:25
Life is complicated. Or is it? That’s a good question. At times things can seem very complicated. Situations we find ourselves in, relationships with family and friends, our future, our past, etc., can all seem burdensome and complicated at times. But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be. The truth is that God’s answers to the most “complex” questions in life are often simple enough for a child to understand.
In the passage above, Jesus affirms that the Father reveals His answers and wisdom to those who are childlike. Interestingly, He also states that the Father has “hidden these things from the wise and learned.” So this begs the question…is it better to be “wise and learned” or “childlike?” Obviously the answer is that it’s better to be childlike.
This may seem confusing at first. It can seem strange to say that it’s not good to be “wise and learned.” But what that means is that it’s not good to be a person who thinks they have it all figured out. It’s not good to be arrogant and a know-it-all. It’s not good to be so filled with pride that we think we have all the answers.
The ideal is to have certain characteristics of a child. In particular, it’s good to be one who is open, curious, and willing to learn. It’s good to look at life in the simplest of ways and to stick to the basics. Sure, it’s good to grow in wisdom and knowledge of the things of God. But true wisdom and knowledge always maintain a certain innocence and simplicity. They maintain a basic goodness and acceptance of right and wrong. Life does not have to be complicated, it needs to become exceptionally simple.
Reflect, today, upon how ready and willing you are to turn to God for the simple and clear answers to life’s most difficult questions. Reflect upon how willing you are to turn to God in trust and hope knowing that God has all the answers to your life.
Lord, once again I turn to You in trust. Help me to realize that all wisdom comes from You rather than myself. Help me to always turn to You as a child would and help my life to remain simple as You desire. Jesus, I trust in You.
Laying Down Your Burdens
July 16, 2020
Thursday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time
Readings for Today
Isaiah 26.7-9, 16-19
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
This invitation from Jesus is one that we may need to hear far more often than we realize. It’s a gentle invitation to let our Lord lighten our daily burden, relieve our worries, our stress, our concerns and all that weighs us down. It’s an invitation of love and mercy and is one we should always accept.
What is it that burdens you? What is it that weighs you down and tempts you to fall into depression, sorrow or even despair? Is there something that you tend to think about obsessively? Is there some concern that you can’t seem to shake? Whatever it is that troubles your heart, Jesus wants to lift it.
Sometimes we can go through life with heavy burdens that we are afraid to let go of. We can be fearful of coming to Jesus and fearful of letting Him in. Coming to Jesus means we must face whatever it is that burdens us with honesty and openness and we must face these burdens in the presence of Jesus.
But the key thing we need to know is that Jesus is gentle, merciful and generous in forgiveness and grace. He longs to lift our burdens far more than we long to have them lifted. He sees the oppression many face and so deeply desires to have that oppression eliminated.
Reflect, today, upon that gentle invitation from Jesus: “Come to me.” Come to Him without fear and without hesitation. Turn everything over to Him and let Him sort things out. He loves you more than you know and will set your feet on the right path.
Lord, I do come to You and I do lay down my life and every burden before You. I give You my life, my hopes, my fears, my past, my future and everything that worries me. Jesus, I give You everything. Jesus, I trust in You.