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. Oct 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

The Memorial of St Bonaventure

Ex. 3:13-20, Mt. 11:28-30. The long slavery of Israel in Egypt is coming to an end and they are to come into a new and better existence, as a free people in their own land. In today's first reading, Moses assures Israel about God’s concern for their plight. The people will not simply be set free, but the living God will be with them, into the future. Thus, the Divine Name, "YHWH" is revealed, derives from the Hebrew verb “to be” and suggests that GOD will be continuously with His people, “I AM WHO I AM.” The very name “YHWH” contains this promise “I will be always there”, but when spoken by ourselves, it can become a personal prayer: “Lord, please be with us at all times.” Indeed, the presence of God brings us rest when we acknowledge Him in His fullness. In today's Gospel, Jesus brought out this understanding: “You will find rest for your souls.” By His closeness to us, He makes our yoke easy and our burden light. He knows how life can be weary and burdensome and makes no false, easy promises. The yoke will remain on our shoulders, as will the burden, but somehow they become easier to bear. What is new is the presence of Jesus, “gentle and humble of heart.” God is with us always, promising life and peace. He is a gentle and loving Lord.

We can be burdened for all kinds of reasons: overtired; overworked; a marriage going wrong; a struggle with ill health. Jesus spoke words of hope to people burdened by the demands of the Jewish Law; for in failing to observe them they felt themselves marginalised. He does not offer them a new law, rather He offers Himself as their guide to life. He calls us to learn from Him: “Come to me,” he says, and “learn from me.” We learn from His example and words, for His teaching is clearly visible in who He is and how He lives. To learn from Jesus, we should spend time with Him. In saying, “Come,” He is really saying, “Come and stay.” Today, we are called into a new friendship with Him. It is in being with Him that we learn to live as we ought to live. If we come to Him and remain with Him, we will find that His yoke is easy and His burden is really light. Though, the way of the Gospel is demanding, but our relationship with Him makes it much less demanding than it would otherwise be. Paul assures us that God’s power at work within us is “able to accomplish immeasurably far more than all we can ask or imagine.” It is by remaining in Jesus, as branches in the vine that our lives will flourish and bear much fruit. St Bonaventure whose memorial we celebrate placed his worries on Jesus and involved in the reforms of the Church of his time. He made important contributions to the Church and the faith and for his dedication to the Lord and to His people. He wrote extensively and had many publications and works attributed to him and he was also active in the governance of the Church, being also entrusted to be one of the princes of the Church as a Cardinal, supporting the Pope in his efforts to reform the Church and in encouraging the unity and development of the Church.

May the Lord deepen our awareness of His presence and teach us reverence and love for all that He made! Amen!! Good morning and have a wonderful day!!!

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