Our Gospel passage for this week is taken from Matthew, Chapter 11, verses 15-30
One of my favourite hymns from childhood is I Surrender All, and I was drawn more to the refrain of this hymn. This refrain is apt for today’s passage from Matthew. This is the response I imagine Jesus hopes to hear from us following his invitation to discipleship in the last few verses. In the verses before this, Jesus has been clear that divine wisdom is proved right by its results and that he has a special relationship with God that he can choose to share with others. It is in this spirit that his powerful invitation to discipleship is issued at the close of today’s passage. One of the many marks of this call to discipleship is that we understand the deeply theological nature of our quest, found in the context of our ministries – lay and ordained – and in the concrete ways we live out our faith. This transformative discipleship is hard, necessary, and sometimes very lonely work. As we live into it, we must remember that we are made in God’s image. It is God who weaves the very fabric of our existence through yet another paradox of unconditional love, demanding that we share the rich rewards of God’s grace and mercy with others. In doing so, we are called to live out of our possibilities and not our shortcomings by answering, ‘Yes!’ to God’s ‘What if?’ As we do so, the love of God revealed in Jesus’ witness moves us to grow in compassion, understanding, and acceptance of each other. We must remain mindful that discipleship involves living our lives with integrity and faithfulness to God. As we come to a greater sense of self, finding our identity in God, we realise that we are developing the markers of our faith as we deepen our understanding of discipleship in ways great and small in our daily living. To those who recognise their need for a Saviour, Jesus comes with comfort enough, lifting life’s burdens and offering rest even for the lonely soul. It is then that we can sing with relief and profound gratitude, ‘I surrender all’.
Blessings, Fr Jonathan