14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Matthew 11:25-30
You have hidden these things from the wise and revealed them to little children
Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
Children have responded, not because of learning or study but because of revelation.
The ‘wise and clever’ in Jesus’ time referred to the Scribes and Pharisees who claimed superior wisdom based on knowledge of scripture and tradition. Jesus is offering something more than knowledge based on learning. Jesus invites us to the reality that we all have access through him to true knowledge of God.
In a time when women were disadvantaged because of lack of opportunity for learning and study (which is still the case today in far too many countries throughout the world), Mary Ward had something important to say to her sisters about knowledge. This true knowledge of God is what Mary Ward referred to as Verity. At St Omer in 1617 she spoke to her sisters about this, explaining that it was
“not veritas hominum, verity of men nor verity of women but veritas Domini (Verity of God) and women may have this verity as well as men.”
Jesus is offering an invitation to intimacy with God that is beyond comprehension. Can I rest in this loving intimacy that he offers?