Pastor's Desk: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 8th July 2017 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End - Rest for your souls

Pope Francis had some strong words of advice recently for priests. As he ordained ten men to the priesthood on Good Shepherd Sunday, he said in his homily: ‘A priest who has perhaps studied much theology and has achieved one or two or three advanced degrees, but has not learned to carry the Cross of Christ, is useless: he will be a good academic, a good professor, but not a priest. Please, I ask you in the name of Christ and of the church to be merciful, always: do not saddle the faithful with burdens they cannot carry – nor ought you so burden yourselves.’

He must have been thinking of the extract from Matthew’s Gospel that we hear today, where Jesus talks about the exact opposite of laying burdens on people – he promises to take them away, and to lighten our load.

I don’t think Jesus is saying that the Christian life is always going to be easy, that there will not be burdens or crosses to carry, or that we should not hold ourselves to high standards. Rather, he is reminding us that when we find ourselves overburdened – tired, frustrated, afraid, overwhelmed, disheartened – help is at hand. He invites us to come to him, and to unload our troubles onto him. He is a place of rest for our weary souls. With Jesus on board, our minds and hearts will be lighter, and we can get on with our tasks with renewed energy and zeal.

Tríona Doherty

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