Monday – 13th Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Matthew 8:18-22
Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem
Are you tired? No energy and no drive? I don’t mean sleepy, not that kind of tired. I mean exhausted, can’t lift a finger or move a muscle. Down to the bone weary! Is it any wonder after these past 15 months of stress, fear and separation? It seems like we can’t find the strength to do even the simplest of tasks.
That seems to be what we hear in today’s Gospel. “Foxes have dens and birds have nests. But the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” You can just hear the weariness in Jesus’ words. And is it any wonder? Moving from town to town, healing and preaching, curing illness and raising the dead! And it never ends! And yet somehow Jesus always finds the strength, need I say faith, to continue and carry on to the next town.
Our parish said our farewells to our pastor yesterday as he offered his final Mass. We then gathered outside for a celebratory party and send-off before he begins his new parish assignment. What struck me was the outpouring of affection and gratitude! The church was packed! I mean it was like a pre-pandemic Christmas Mass. There were hundreds of people at Mass and at the party. There was so many hugs and smiles and handshakes, something that was unthinkable a mere month ago. It was as if all this pent-up joy just came bursting out after such a long time of pandemic separation! Dare I say, it felt normal! Not to mention necessary!
Sure, we are all still exhausted, still weary, still a bit cautious! But that didn’t stop the reconnecting of old friendships and familiar faces. In the end, I don’t think it was just about a party and the chance to celebrate. It has so much more to do with finally being able to celebrate our faith, to gather as a people of God! It’s about sharing that faith with others in a simple sign of peace! Yes, we are all weary but God really does give us the strength when we need it! And He really does bolster our faith to carry on, even in the worst of times.