Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time: July 3 - 9, 2005
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Collaborative Ministry Office
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The Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time 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.".The Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time begins with a Sunday that offers pastoral comfort to us all. In the Zechariah reading, the Lord promises Israel, and us, a savior who "shall proclaim peace to the nations." Matthew's gospel points to Jesus as the source of that peace, as he affirms his identity as the Son of God. Jesus offers himself as a relief from the burdens of our days, promising "you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."We continue with the final week of a three-week cycle of Genesis readings. Jacob stops for the night and has a vivid dream about a stairway to heaven and the Lord telling him that the land on which he rests would be given to Jacob and his descendants. Jacob wrestles with a stranger in the night and is blessed by that stranger before they part.The readings then jump ahead 10 chapters to pick up the familiar story of the famine and Joseph, Jacob's son who has been sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph is now a powerful man in Egypt managing food in a starving world, and his brothers, are sent by their father to Egypt to beg for food. Joseph meets with his brothers finally reveals himself to them and is reunited with his now-elderly father, Jacob, who comes to Egypt. Jacob dies a happy man, asking only that his family take his body back to their homeland for burial. The readings end as Joseph dies in Egypt, also asking to be buried in the land of his birth. It's a great story of God's fidelity. Matthew's gospel this week is filled with healing and invitations. Jesus offers a cure and courage for the woman with hemorrhage, raises an official's daughter from dead and as "his heart was moved with pity" he continues to cure every disease and illness. Along with these stories of healing in the First Gospel, the call from Jesus begins. "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;so ask the master of the harvestto send out laborers for his harvest."Jesus summons the apostles and sends them out to continue his work, but curing illness and driving out unclean spirits. He tells them how to be a laborer in his field and cautions them of the challenges ahead. On Saturday, he offers a tender example of God's love for us in the story God's love for even the lowly sparrow. "Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows," he concludes.A look ahead at the Fifteen Sunday of Ordinary Time offers readings filled with the planting, tending and harvesting of what has been sown. The gospel is the compelling image of the sower scattering seed on various types of soil.