Zachariah 9:9-10; Ps 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14; Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30
As we go through life we often get tired and look for refreshment, comfort and happiness. The world is not lacking in offering us all kinds of what seem like delights. Are all the pleasures of the world really what will make us ultimately happy? At the beginning we cannot see what these various pleasures of the world will bring us.
When God made us he placed within all of us a longing that only he can fulfill. Nothing in all the pleasures of the world will ultimately fulfill us. Perhaps we can spend much of our life following paths that we think will make us happy. There are many of these pleasures I could list: a nice drink of some alcoholic beverage after a stressful and draining day at work. One drink to start, which leads to more and more until we become addicts. We can become addicted to more than two hundred things. Some are serious and lead to death. Others are things we like and enjoy yet don’t have serious effects. Some of these addictions can be alcohol, gambling, sex, drugs and all kinds of entertainment. We can even become addicted to the computer, computer games, watching TV most of the evening, or negative music.
I taught high school in Levittown, PA, north of Philadelphia for several years. I had one red-haired Irish young man. Let’s say his name was Patrick. He was always respectful, cooperative and happy. I liked him. Ten years later I went to his class reunion. I asked where Patrick was. “Oh, Father, he committed suicide a few years ago. He was hooked on weed. He had gone through three rehab programs yet could not live without being high every day.” I was shocked and saddened.
The dark side opposed to the kingdom of God offers us all the “fake news” pleasures to trap us into thinking their offers are good for us. In reality they are not.
As we meet Jesus every day in prayer, be it at Mass daily or frequently, praying the Shorter Christian Prayer, reading the New Testament, praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or the rosary, we are filled more with the comfort and joys of Jesus and his kingdom. Reading the scriptures often, we find that the Holy Spirit touches our minds and hearts with the beauty of certain passages.
In most of St. Matthew’s gospel, the text today is one of my favorites. The older translation of this text used the expression that as we go to Jesus and he “will refresh us.” We can grow to love his refreshment. Give Jesus more time and he and I promise you that he will refresh us. Have a good and refreshing week.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2017 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)