Fr. Romeo Ballan

XIV Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - Sunday 03.07.2011

“Come to me, all you who labour...”


XIV Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A - Sunday 03.07.2011


Zechariah 9:9-10

Psalm 144

Romans  8:9.11-13

Matthew 11:25-30




Once again we are in the heart of Matthew's Gospel. Today's passage is defined in various ways by scholars: the great manifestation of the mystery of God, the most effective messianic synthesis, the hymn of joy, the Magnificat of Jesus (as an expression of his interior world, as the Magnificat was for Mary)... Effectively, this prayer of Jesus (Gospel) summarises the whole program of the Beatitudes (Mt.3:5ff), with particular attention to the poor, the meek, the mourners, the merciful, the pure in heart, workers for peace... As the author of The Little Prince states, Beatitude is the access to a viewpoint that unifies the whole universe (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). Here, Jesus' Gospel is summarised around some fundamental topics: praise of the Father, Lord and Creator; the life of intimate communion of the Trinity; the loving and active attitude of Jesus towards human suffering; he new school and style of the Master, who tells everyone: "Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest” (v. 29).


These are also the fundamental themes of missionary proclamation and of catechesis: the Holy Trinity. Jesus Christ the Saviour, the Church as the house of human and spiritual refuge for those who "labour and are oppressed" in all kinds of ways, in all times and places. There they find relief, refreshment and protection., A Church that is the exemplary disciple of Christ in this too, so that She is eventually able to say to all the nations on earth: come to me, all of you... learn from me, for I am gentle and humble... you will find rest and the yoke will become light. This is the authentic face of the Church, the one which attracts. It is the only one that catches the attention of the multitudes, the one that missionaries and the whole Catholic community are called to incarnate, to make real. (*)  Among the most beautiful images of the Church we have two here: that of the inn, (pandokeion) to which the Good Samaritan takes the poor victim of brigands (cf. Lk.10:34); and that of the house which Paul rented on his arrival in Rome, where he welcomed everybody, and proclaimed and taught Jesus Christ to them with complete fearlessness (cf Acts 28:30-31).


For the missionary, this is a daily, or everyday, experience. This is the image the missionary Church presents, especially in the poorest countries on the planet, but also in the back streets of the most industrialised cities. This style of life and of mission, inaugurated by Jesus, is possible only to the extent that the Spirit of God lives in us (2nd Reading). Together with Him, one of the fruits will be peace. The prophet (Zechariah, 1st Reading) presents a vision of a king who is just, peaceful and humble, who rides on the foal of a donkey and causes war-horses to disappear; he had a clear programme of peace: "The bow of war will be banished; he will proclaim peace for the nations" (v.10); His rule will be universal, stretching from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth, and open to all generations (Responsorial Psalm) St Augustine points out to rulers a wise rule of thumb: "It is a sign of greater glory to kill wars with a word, rather than men with weapons; and to win peace with peace, not with war". Works of peace are possible only in the one in whom the Spirit of God dwells.



The Pope's Words

(*)  “The first form of witness is the very life of the missionary, of the Christian family, and of the ecclesial community, which reveal a new way of living. The missionary who, despite all his or her human limitations and defects, lives a simple life, taking Christ as the model, is a sign of God and of transcendent realities. But everyone in the Church, striving to imitate the Divine Master, can and must bear this kind of witness; in many cases it is the only possible way of being a missionary”.

John Paul II

Redemptoris Missio (1990), n. 42


In the steps of Missionaries

- 3/7: St. Thomas, Apostle. He professed his faith in the Risen Christ, and evangelised in India.

- 6/7: Bl. Maria Teresa Ledochowska (1863-1922). she worked for people in Africa, and founded the Sodality of St. Peter Claver.

- 6/7: Bl. Nazaria I. March Mesa (1889-1943), a Spanish nun who went to work in Mexico, then became a missionary in Bolivia and Argentina. She was also a Foundress.

- 7/7: Bl. Peter To Rot (Papua-New Guinea, 1912-1945), a married man and a catechist. He was killed by the Japanese towards the end to the Second World War.

- 7/7: Bl. Maria Romero Meneses (1902-1977), a Salesian nun from Nicaragua, who lived her life in works of charity.

- 9/7: Sts. Augustine Zhao Rong (+1815) and many companions who were martyred in China. At different times and in different places, between 1648 and 1930 they bore witness to Christ and to the Gospel through their words and their example.

- 9/7: St. Paolina (Amabile Visintainer) of the Dying Heart of Jesus (1865-1942). Born in Italy, she emigrated to Brazil, where she dedicated her life to the care of the poor and the sick, and founded a religious Institute for the purpose.



Compiled by Fr. Romeo Ballan, MCCJ – Comboni Missionaries (Verona)

Website: “The Word for Mission”