First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14
Second Reading: Romans 8:9, 11-13
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
The way in which the Prophet Zechariah speaks in the first reading is a perfect beginning for the mass, as he begins by saying that The Lord has told him to tell the people to “Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!” Not only does this beginning to the reading portray a joyous demeanor, but this statement also acts as a calming mechanism to the people during the time of Zechariah who worried about what God had planned for them. From this point, Zechariah goes on to talk about the coming of a king and savior that will come who is also meek and humble. This prophecy that Zechariah talks about is about Jesus and provides a biblical foundation for what is mentioned later in the mass within the Gospel of Matthew. As Zechariah closes the first reading, he goes on to talk about the great feats that the coming Savior, Jesus, will perform and acts as a perfect example for the prayer formation of A.C.T.S. as this can be seen as an adoration for God and His son. “His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the end of the earth.” The final sentence within the first reading is a powerful statement as it talks about the dominion of Jesus not being contained to a certain area, rather it will reach to the ends of the earth. This truly stands as a testament to the power of God, as He is able to imbue His prophets with the gift of seeing what He has planned for the future; which is comforting to know as it can be seen that God’s love and His plan for us is one that has been thought of for us long before we were ever present on this earth.
The response for Psalm 145 “I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God” not only adds to the adoration from the first reading while also acting as a reminder for us CFC-Youth as we called to be “young people being and bringing Christ wherever we are”. Within the response, we say that “I will praise your name forever” which is easier said than done. It is one thing to say that as CFC-Youth, we will be and bring Christ wherever we are, but putting those words into action is the next and much bigger step. Therefore, if we respond several times to the fact that we will praise God’s name forever, and not live that out then why even say it in the first place.
Within the second reading we are presented the beautiful lesson from Saint Paul that “You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit”. As Saint Paul writes he brings up the point that we all have the spirit of God within ourselves, but “if only the Spirit of God dwells in you”. In order to be in the Spirit we would need to freely choose to let the Spirit of God dwell within ourselves’ but some may wonder how this acceptance can be done and the answer to that is simply to learn more about the Catholic faith. As CFC-Youth we are called to be and bring Christ wherever we are, but how are we called to do that without truly knowing who Christ is. Sure, we know about Jesus Christ, but what we can learn from The Church and other Catholic teachings allows us to get a real grasp on who Jesus is which allows us to live in the Spirit. In addition, there is more that we can look into in order to learn more about the Spirit and that can be found in what Saint Matthew says within his Gospel.
Saint Matthew opens up the Gospel passage for this Sunday by quoting the words of Jesus which are as follows, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.” The use of the words “little ones” shows the beauty of being within a family ministry such as CFC as we are able to witness the CFC-Kids. With the opportunity to be a witness to the joyous creation of God, one can see the innocence and wonder that a child can hold, in addition to the numerous other traits which we can learn from. When observing the behaviors of the little ones I have encountered I have found that when a child is having fun and loves what they are doing, they forget what is happening around them and simply live. This will to continue doing what one is doing without having a care on what is happening around them is a trait that we can apply to our faith. As Catholics in a world such as the one we are in today, it can be difficult to truly live out the faith as we are called to do, however if we were to be like children and let nothing stop us when we are living out the love of God then we will truly be living out our mission statement as CFC-Youth. As mentioned before, in order to live out this love for God we would need to know who God by learning about Jesus. This encouragement to learn more about Jesus is affirmed by Saint Matthew as he states, “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 to him.” This verse can be simplified to the fact that in order to know God, on a personal basis, one would need to know Jesus, as Jesus is our passage to God. One simple way for us to learn about God is learning about our faith through books such as Why We’re Catholic by Trent Horn, Truth be Told Basics in Catholic Apologetics by Mark Hart and Joe Cady, and the Youcat. These are just some of the numerous amounts of resources that are at your disposal in order to learn more about the Catholic Faith and more importantly about God. Once you have established this deeper understanding of God you are then able to know how He can help you within your life as the Gospel talks about how Jesus will give rest to those who have burdens. Within the Gospel, it is stated that Jesus says “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When first hearing this it can be easily misunderstood as a yoke in this present time is commonly known as something within an egg, however, a yoke is also known as a tool that is attached to animals in order to get them to move objects. The use of the word yoke within the Gospel is a way to show the servitude of Jesus, as He wants to take our burdens and our own personal yoke’s because Jesus’ yoke and burdens are light. However, we are not only called to give our burdens to Jesus, but we also called to learn from Him as He affirms what Zechariah said all those years ago as Jesus is “meek and humble of heart.” This posture of a servant is one that can be carried over into our lives as we are called to be gentle and humble of heart similarly to how Jesus was. Therefore, by knowing who God is by learning about our faith we are able to give our burdens to Jesus who is able to aid us in all of the troubles we face in life by reminding us to be humble and ask for God’s help.