Homily of H.E. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, DD, Pro-Prefect of Dicastery for Evangelization
14th Sunday in the Ordinary Time | July 9, 2023
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, let us give thanks to God who has gathered us and who hosts this Eucharistic celebration. It is the Lord's Supper. It is not Fr. Rupert's mass. It is not Fr. EJ's mass. It is not a Cardinal's mass. It is the Lord's Supper. So He's the one who calls us, as we are responding to Him. And we thank the Holy Spirit for enabling us to respond to His calling.
Our readings for today are filled with teachings that are very much needed in our time. Jesus invites those who labor and are burdened to come to Him and to learn from Him. We know that in our time, many people even consider life a big burden because of war, armed conflicts, because of ethnic wars, because of poverty, and now the whole world seems to be at a loss on how to address the climate situation.
Then you have people leaving their homes to find a brighter future, but then the future becomes darker. Some people think that when they leave home, life will become easier, but not always. Sometimes life becomes more difficult. But then they're already dispersed. And Jesus says, "Come to me you who labor, who work hard," but still the load is not becoming lighter. Parang nakakalungkot no? Kung kailan ka nga nagsisikap parang lalong bumibigat. Sa halip na gumaan, parang lalong bumibigat.
And then Jesus' proposal is, "Come to me and learn from me." Now some people will say, "What good will that bring? I need cash. I need a job. We need negotiators, and then your solution is, 'Come to me, learn from me.' And if we come to Him, what will we learn?"
In faith, we know that Jesus is the fulfillment of the vision in the first reading from the prophet Zechariah. A King will come, he will save the suffering people, and he will defeat the enemy. He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim. He will banish the horse from Jerusalem. Even the weapons will be banished. He will triumph. This King is strong, but then he will come riding on a donkey. Eh papaano niya matatalo yung mga kaba-kabayo na iyan, yung mga chariot na iyan, mga sandata na iyan? Ang sinasakyan mo asno! Isang pitik lang yan nung kabayo nung kalaban, tumba ka na!
This is the Word of God. And then he comes riding on a donkey, and as a meek, meek Savior, Jesus says, "Come to me, learn from me. For I am meek and humble of heart."
It is in meekness and humility that we will find rest, and that is how we will also give rest to others. Jesus himself, before saying this passage in the Gospel, was subjected to so much contradiction. Even before this passage, John the Baptist sent disciples, "Are you the one?" Parang pati si Juan Bautista nagdududa sa kanya. And then the scribes and the pharisees could not accept him as the one sent by God.
John the Baptist was bombastic, eh no? “Woe to you, woe to you,” and then dumating ito nakikikain kasama ang mga makasalanan so even John the Baptist eh, “Ikaw ba nga talaga?” “Are you the one?” “I’m dying for the Messiah but are you really the one?”
So if someone understands the meaning of being burdened and working but being burdened, it's Jesus. But what is his response? Meekness and humility of heart. For he knows when we look at the many problems whether personal, family, community, or international problems, very often, they are caused by pride. Pride. The desire to dominate and pride that becomes disrespectful.
Every bullet that is shot is an act of pride and domination. Every unkind word, piercing and wounding word, insulting word is an act of pride that makes the life of others burdensome. No wonder Jesus comes to save us from that folly, from that madness that makes the world a heavy, burdensome place to stay in. And he comes to save us from that. But He will not participate in that. He will not participate in pride. He will not participate in that madness. He will come as the meek and humble of heart.
And who appreciates Jesus? The little ones. That's why He says, "Father, I praise you. Those who pretend to be wise and learned don't understand my teaching, but you have revealed the secrets of the Kingdom to the little ones."
The little ones see what God is doing through the little one, the humble one - Jesus. To learn from Jesus, we need to decide whether we will be like Him. Will we be humble? For it is only in that humility that we will really come to Jesus and be willing to learn from Him.
Sabi ko nga doon sa isang episode ng aking Kape at Pandesal pag Martes, parang nawawala na yung “paki”. “Pakigawa nga po ito.” “Pakisuyo po.” Ano po? Parang ang dami-dami ngayon na mando na lang ng mando. “Gawin mo yan, gawin mo to, gawin mo yun.” Aba! Mabigat na nga yung buhay nung kausap mo pinabibigat mo pa! Ay gagaan yan eh, lagyan mo lang ng “paki”. Pero ok lang kung gusto mong maging mayabang pa rin, ok lang. Nandiyan naman si Hesus. Lalayuan ka ng tao, but they will go to Jesus. And don’t worry, don’t worry. They will come to Jesus.
And I hope you will also come to Jesus and learn from Him. Kapag nabawasan ang mga barumbado sa mundo, gagaan ang buhay.
Come to Jesus, learn from Him. We cannot do this alone. St. Paul says, "It is the Spirit of God dwelling in us that will enable us to follow Jesus." Let us be open to the Spirit that God sends to us. It is the Spirit that will transform us into followers, and even images of Jesus, the meek and humble of heart.
transcribed by Gel Katalbas