Brothers and sisters, do you exercise? What kind of exercise go you do and why? As you know, if you were to go to Flagler Park overlooking the Intracoastal on Flagler Drive in the evening or morning, you will probably see many people there walking or jogging. It’s no secret why these people do these things. They know that the body needs exercise to remain in good condition. As the saying goes: "if you don’t use it, you lose it."
But, of course, there is a limit to what we do. No matter how far or how often we may walk or jog, finally, if and when sickness decides to come knocking on our door, we will still be unable to escape from it. What’s more, it is actually possible to be in excellent physical and mental condition and still be deeply unhappy. Such as, misunderstandings with family and friends, difficulties in school, workplace, or loneliness. These are just some of the many burdens that, from time to time, each one of us has to bear.
Isn’t this why we find Jesus invitation to us in today’s Gospel? "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest." When we hear these words, don’t we wish we would run immediately to the Lord and enjoy the rest that He offers us? And also in the first reading tells us about the King who comes to us riding on a ass, and who will proclaim peace to the nations. Don’t we wish we would welcome this king with open arms and yearn to experience his peace?
Yet, it is not always easy to come close to Jesus, is it? As much as we may want to enjoy His company, all too often we allow other things to come between us and the Price of Peace. Sometimes, it is a matter of simple ignorance, we don’t know how or we are clinging to something else or just plain old-fashioned laziness.
And of course, there is that one obstacle that we all struggle with at some point or other. What is it? It is the realization that it is the way of peace. And the easy yoke that Jesus wishes to lay upon our shoulders in the gospel is none other than the wood of the Cross. For as we all know, in the mystery of Christ, the same mystery that we celebrate in every day Mass, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are joined the hip. We only get to Easter Sunday by passing through Good Friday. To come close to Jesus is also to bear the life-giving burden of His Holy Cross. When we realize this, will we still wish to come to the Lord? And if we don’t use it, we lose it.
Rev. Dominic Toan Tran
The Mission of St. Juliana Parish is to grow spiritually, evangelize and serve, united as one family of faith, welcoming and including each person with love.