14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 9, 2017)

The prophet Zechariah pictures the coming of the Savior/King as a time of peace. Jesus, the Savior/King, has come.

We might ask, in light of all the turmoil in the world around us, where is the peace that he is supposed to bring?

Our question brings to mind that Jesus told us: I do not give you the peace that the world gives. What then is the peace that Jesus brings? He tells us this morning that his peace is only possessed by the child-like - those who are willing to learn from his gentle, humble lead - those willing to yoke themselves to him. The peace that Jesus is able to give is refreshment to the weary and to those who find that this worldly life can be burdensome.

To be humble like Jesus means to accept the gracious, compassionate love of God our Father for what it is - unconditional, always welcoming us into the love of our Father’s home. The Father loves us in the same way that he loves his Son Jesus. Our faults and failings are forgiven even before we ask, and our acceptance of his love is reason for rejoicing, for celebrating.

Gentleness will flow from accepting that God loves everyone else in the same way he loves me - unconditionally. This realization causes me to respect and even reverence others as the place where God’s love is at work - even if that other person is not yet aware that God is loving and working there.

Gentleness is learning to love others unconditionally - forgiving them even before they can say “I’m sorry,” reaching out to fill their needs even before they can say “I’m in need,”lifting their spirits even before they can say, “I feel down today.”

When I open myself to be grateful for God’s compassionate love for me and am willing to respect his love working in everyone around me, then I am able to experience the peace that Jesus brings. My soul will find rest from the weariness of the world’s competition and conniving. The burdens of living each day will be lightened. I will be better able to see the hand of God’s love at work in everything and everyone around me.

May each of us be wise enough to learn the secret of inner peace from Jesus who is gentle and humble of heart.