July 19, 2018
by Tamora Whitney
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 392

Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
Psalms 102:13-14ab and 15, 16-18, 19-21
Matthew 11:28-30
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Finding Our Way Back Home: Getting Un-Stuck in Prayer Life

In the first reading we are told that the way of the just is clear. God makes it clear what needs to be done, and the path is level without obstacles. It’s that easy to be just. Just follow the path. The way is harder for the unjust. There are punishments from God and the unjust suffer. But the suffering can be like labor pains, if they change their ways and follow the Lord. The woman in labor suffers, but then she has a reward at the end. The child is worth all the pain. The unjust can learn from the punishment and can change to follow God and become just. If they change and follow the path of God, they will gain reward after their suffering. They will have a new life in God. The path of the just is clear and smooth. And those who follow the Lord have an added benefit – life everlasting. The “dead shall live, their corpses shall rise.”

Jesus fulfills this idea in the Gospel. Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

The burden is sin. The labor is like the suffering of the unjust in changing their ways. The labor is like the woman laboring in childbirth. The smooth path is God’s path for the just to follow. The suffering is for those who do not follow it. The just can rest in the Lord, if they take off the burden of sin and follow the clear and level path. Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden light. It’s the smooth path that followed will lead to everlasting life.

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