Sunday 9 July 2023

About Today Readings

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Zechariah 9:9-10. I will praise your name forever, my king and my God – Psalm 144(145):1-2, 8-11, 13-14. Romans 8:9, 11-13. Matthew 11:25-30.

God values the ‘forgotten’ people

Today, the readings from Zechariah and from Matthew remind us that God is a God of ordinary folk. The symbolic king surprisingly chooses to ride on the everyday transport of the ancient Jewish world, a donkey. Jesus in the Gospel reading from Matthew praises his Father for revealing Truth to ‘infant’ rather than to the worldly ‘wise and intelligent’. His emphasis on being ‘gentle and humble in heart’ hearkens back to the image of that King. It is a boldly fresh vision of the value of forgotten people, especially the poor. God prefers to be with you than with the rich and powerful, whom we nowadays call ‘the elites’. And we can’t leave these readings without remembering GK Chesterton’s charming poem of paradoxical humility and splendour, ‘The Donkey’, in which the animal gives his point of view: ‘Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb . . . (but) . . . There were palms before my feet’.

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