Catholic Sunday Mass celebrated by Fr James Ralston O.M.I., recorded at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Durban, South Africa.
ENTRANCE ANTIPHON: Your merciful love, O God, we have received in the midst of your temple. Your praise, O God, like your name, reaches the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with saving justice.
FIRST READING: Zechariah 9:9-10.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Psalm 145.
RESPONSE: I will bless your name forever, my king and my God.
I will extol you, my God and king, and bless your name forever and ever. I will bless you day after day,and praise your name forever and ever. ℟
The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in mercy. How good is the Lord to all,compassionate to all his creatures. ℟
All your works shall thank you, O Lord, and all your faithful ones bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your reign,and declare your mighty deeds. ℟
The Lord is faithful in all his words, and holy in all his deeds. The Lord supports all who fall,and raises up all who are bowed down. ℟
SECOND READING: Romans 8:9, 11-13.
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION: Alleluia, alleluia! Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom. Alleluia.
GOSPEL: Matthew 11:25-30.
SERMON: Fr James Ralston O.M.I
Sunday 14 A
Some guys make it and others don’t! Some like you some don’t!
Jesus’ preaching has just met with a set-back in the towns of Galilee. Despite the miracles he worked there, Jesus has not been accepted.
The so-called wise and the learned have closed their hearts to the Gospel. Was it to rally his disheartened disciples that he went aside? In any case, it is in prayer that he will uncover once more the Father’s plan, be filled with the joy at his goodness and proclaim once more, with burning praise the happiness of the poor.
There is something of a common perception that the word ‘spiritual’ is rather more acceptable than the word ‘religious’. Indeed ‘spiritual’ is a word that tends to be used in a great variety of unthreatening ways. For St. Paul, writing to the Romans, the word never has that vague general sense. For him it is always related to the Spirit, and the Spirit of Jesus is not something wishy-washy, but a living force within. The Spirit is a real and personal presence of God living within, which has the power to transform us. A strong message through the reading of the Scriptures of today is for us to take a new look at things. When Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem, as recoded in the Gospels, he entered on a donkey; in the Hebrew tradition, not the mount of princes and he therefore fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah. Not only a humble beast of burden, but sharp contrast to the regal horses pulling the chariots of the Egyptians and Babylonians.
Despite the humble entry, the Messiah is triumphant and victorious and his rule reaches to the ends of the world. This is the sense of paradox and contradiction at the heart of the passage from Matthew’s Gospel today where the learned and clever fail to understand and those who have a child-like simplicity are the ones proven wise; where those who labour find rest and their burdens are found to be effortless.
As if an inspired prophet, Jesus, drawing on the wealth of wisdom in the scriptures, sings a hymn of joyful praise of salvation hidden from the Scribes and Pharisees, but made known to the lowly ones who follow him. Jesus’ unique part in this revelation arises from the special relationship with the Father which he preserves and experiences in this ‘centre of peace’ which is the source of his praise. He is by nature the Son. He alone knows the extent of God’s Fatherhood; he alone can introduce his disciples into the mystery of that love. The rest that Jesus offers them, they will discover when they have been sent out to preach, still more in accepting his teaching, he is the gentle humble Messiah who stands firm in the word of God alone, passing over all human interpretation. He lays on us no burden which he himself is not prepared to carry.
The prayer of Jesus expresses the identity of the Son’s nature with the Father, as an experience in which each Christian is invited to share. Praying with Jesus is allowing his Spirit to sing in us, welcoming the divine Name which makes us children ready to fulfil the will of God the Father, rejoicing with the Son for the wonders which never cease to take place under the influence of his grace.
COMMUNION ANTIPHON: Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed the man who seeks refuge in him.