Fourteenth Sunday of the Year Zechariah 9:9-10; Romans 8:9 & 11-13; Matthew 11: 25-30
“Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! See now, your king comes to you. He is victorious, he is triumphant, humble and riding on a donkey.”
The Prophet Zechariah’s joyful call to hope, addressed originally to a broken and dispirited people, speaks powerfully to our own generation as we take the first uncertain steps to emerge from the devastation of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Through the words of Zechariah, the Lord had spoken to the uncertainty of a people who had experienced the destruction of Jerusalem, death, and the humiliation of forced exile. Now at last the exiles were able to reassemble in the ruins of all that had gone before. They faced a daunting task: the rebuilding of both a city and its people.
Zechariah’s clear message was that this rebuilding would be rooted in God’s saving power rather than the sinful pride that had led to the destruction of the first Jerusalem. They were called to a God who would indeed triumph, but who would come amongst them in humility rather than pride.
“He comes to you, humble and riding on a donkey.”
The pandemic has forced us into a period of reflection as we take our first, uncertain steps into the future. We face the same question that awaited Israel’s returning exiles. What kind of a society do we want to build, and what do we want as its guiding foundation?
Jesus rejoiced in the future that his Father intended to build for his people.
“I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it has pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
It was in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, that the Father chose to bring about his new creation. May the Holy Spirit open our hearts to the Son’s invitation to share in the building of that new world.
“Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
Then, in the power of our Risen Lord, our new beginning shall indeed bring hope to the overburdened, and healing to a wounded creation.