Opening the Word: Resting in Jesus to reveal the Father

Timothy P O'Malley“‘No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him'” (Mt 11:27).

Beloved, listen this day to the words of Jesus. He is telling us who he is. He is the Son of the Father, the God who created and redeemed the world. He alone knows the Father, and the Father alone knows him.

This is the mystery hidden from the foundation of the world. The God who exists is love, a communion that no human mind alone can contemplate.

July 5 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Zec 9:9-10
Ps 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14
Rom 8:9, 11-13
Mt 11:25-30

So then what about us? Can we share in this sweet intimacy, knowing in our very flesh and blood the love of the Father and the Son?

Jesus cultivates our desire for this. He hints that we can share in this intimacy. The Son can reveal to us the Father. If he wishes.

Lord Jesus, we do wish to know the Father. How often in our sorrow have we longed to see the countenance of God? How much we have desired to taste God’s own communion of love.

And now, Jesus, you invite us into this communion. In so many of our relationships, we imagine that love is earned. We must become worthy to be loved, to deserve it.

Yet, this is not how you reveal the love of the Father to us. You tell us, dear Jesus, to rest in you.

So many of us understand the burdens of the human condition. We know heartbreak, death, suffering, the brevity of our days. We distract ourselves, work as hard as we can, to forget who we are. Whose we are.

You do not want from us more work, more labor, activity.

You want us to rest in you. We are to take up your easy yoke and plow the fields of our heart with your merciful love.

It is harder to rest in you, dear Lord, than you might think.

Your yoke may be easy, your burden may be light.

But our burden has been heavy. It is the burden of sin and death, the burden of flesh. Our bodies have been made for good, for sharing in the communion of love. We are created in the image and likeness of God, with dignity and flesh.

But flesh is different, as your apostle, St. Paul reminds us.

Flesh is heavy.

Flesh is hatred of ourselves. Flesh is addiction to drugs and alcohol. Flesh is the grudge we hold against our sibling. Flesh is racism, violence, power and prestige.

Flesh is the judgment of the cross, the wages of death.

Flesh is heavy.

But to let it go, to leave behind flesh, means that we must rest in you.

Your yoke is easy, your burden is light. But to those of us who have carried around our flesh, we have grown accustomed to the burden. Resting in you means looking at our flesh face-to-face, seeing it for what it is. It is a burden we carry about through our own stubbornness.

We refuse to let it go.

Dear Jesus, I seek to rest in you. But I know the cost. I must be still in your presence, to dwell in communion with you, my Beloved. And I must leave behind the burdens of flesh.

Only then may I — body and soul that I am — enjoy communion with you. Enjoy communion with the Father.

What joys you have revealed to I, your little one.

Make me your little one.

Timothy P. O’Malley, Ph.D., is the director of education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.

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