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' Roman Catholic Readings For 16th July 2020 '

✍️Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 392 Reading 1 Is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19 The way of the just is smooth;the path of the just you make level.Yes, for your way and your judgments, O LORD,we look to you;Your name and your title are the desire of our souls.

✍️My soul yearns for you in the night,yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you;When your judgment dawns upon the earth,the world’s inhabitants learn justice.O LORD, you mete out peace to us,for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.O LORD, oppressed by your punishment,

✍️We cried out in anguish under your chastising.As a woman about to give birthwrithes and cries out in her pains,so were we in your presence, O LORD.We conceived and writhed in pain,giving birth to wind;Salvation we have not achieved for the earth,the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth.But your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise;awake and sing, you who lie in the dust.For your dew is a dew of light,and the land of shades gives birth.

Responsorial Psalm 102:13-14ab and 15, 16-18, 19-21

R. (20b) From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.You, O LORD, abide forever,and your name through all generations.You will arise and have mercy on Zion,for it is time to pity her.For her stones are dear to your servants,and her dust moves them to pity.

R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,and all the kings of the earth your glory,When the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in his glory;When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,and not despised their prayer.

R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.Let this be written for the generation to come,and let his future creatures praise the LORD:“The LORD looked down from his holy height,from heaven he beheld the earth,To hear the groaning of the prisoners,to release those doomed to die.”

R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.

Alleluia Mt 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,and I will give you rest, says the Lord.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 11:28-30

✍️Jesus said:“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,for I am meek and humble of heart;and you will find rest for yourselves.For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Daily Reflection

✍️Today’s gospel is a familiar one – most have heard this message before.Jesus said:“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,for I am meek and humble of heart;and you will find rest for yourselves.

✍️For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”When I first read this a few weeks ago, I thought how perfect this gospel is for us at this time. My initial thought was this would be an easy reflection to write. We plan, God laughs! I’ve struggled now for a couple of weeks – I understand the message but how do we “come to Him?”

✍️Clearly this is a time in my life that I truly need Him more than ever. Yet, I am weary, so weary – physically, emotionally, spiritually weary – the world seems almost surreal. I can sit in my home (basically 24/7) and it may not seem so different. When I do venture out, the world is not what it once was. There are GREAT changes, for example the traffic is significantly decreased; and everything looks cleaner. However, the eeriness of it all -- the empty parking lots, airports with hardly a person moving about, many closed signs, live streamed masses with only spiritual communion and no gestures for the sign of peace, only masked strangers moving about – no smiles can be seen, it makes my heart break.

✍️ The few times that I’m in the office and others are there, we can chat – as long as we are six feet apart and wearing our masks – no hugs, no smiles, not even a handshake.  There is a sense of isolation even if we are near people.  I know that I am one of the lucky ones that does get to see people and be in some proximity. So how do I fill this void, how do I take that yoke and learn?  It may seem strange that at this point in my life, I haven’t figured it out. I thought I had . . . .  

✍️When I look at it logically, some of the answers are clearer. God has not moved away, I have! I have let this crazy world dictate to me. I can pray more; I can find quiet time away from emails and Zoom meetings – all of this is within my abilities and desires. Why are my feet stuck in such clay? Writing the reflection demands that I stop and, indeed, reflect. 

✍️I am reminded that I am a loved sinner. I have feet of clay, I make many mistakes and no matter what, I am still loved. I am loved by someone willing to take my burdens, to teach me, to allow me to share the yoke with Him and find rest. I need to find refreshment for my soul. 

✍️I have done reading about what some call soul injury – trauma that penetrates beyond the physical to the very essence of our being. Victims of abuse, veterans, those in war torn countries, and so many more who struggle with trying to find peace in their very souls.

✍️ The pain comes not only for what is inflicted upon them but even from what they have inflicted. As a veteran, my heart is drawn to the veterans suffering such injuries. It seems that our current situation may leave many with such injuries not because of a specific trauma but the constant isolation and the new normal. I pray we can each find a way to share the yoke that is offered and find rest.

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