July 5, 2020
In the passage of the Gospel that we hear today (Mt 11:25-30), we find a dialogue between Jesus and the Father: Jesus turns to the Father and speaks to Him.
In the preceding verses, Jesus took note of a double rejection, the first against John the Baptist (Mt 11:2-19) and the other against His works (Mt 11:20-24).
Within this situation of rejection, Jesus prays, and it is not a prayer of lament, nor do we find in it words of judgment and condemnation for those who do not welcome Him.
His is a prayer of praise because within these events Jesus reads the design of the Father, His work, the presence of the Kingdom that does not stop in the face of men’s rejection.
What is this design of God?
The design of God is that of revealing Himself.
If God is love, communion, a gift of Himself, His desire can only be to make Himself known and loved. It could not be otherwise because there is no love that remains closed in on itself.
With Jesus’ incarnation this design if fulfilled: it no longer happens that only the Father knows the Son and the Son knows the Father (see Mt 11:27), but that this mutual knowing, this exchange of life is open to whoever Jesus wants to reveal it (Mt 11:27). Jesus comes to speak about this, to reveal the Father.
From the words of Jesus, not all receive this revelation, that some are excluded, and that others are somehow favored, brought into this living space.
The first to enter a relationship with God are the lowly, those who, like Jesus, can welcome the gift.
These have a certain harmony with God, a commonality of sight and life: they understand each other.
On the other hand, those who have not divested themselves of their omnipotence, who do not need anything, somehow remain outside this communion of life, remain prisoners of what they possess, are not open to the desire for anything else.
For this reason, every situation of tiredness, poverty, need is the privileged place of encounter with God: prayer is born there.
And it is what Jesus says in the second part of today’s Gospel in verses 28-20.
Here prayer is no longer addressed to the Father, but to every man grieving and suffering.
Jesus’ invitation is addressed to them.
That of continuing to remain lowly and poor, marginal. It is not the invitation to become powerful and rich, but to be in life as He is, with meekness.
The invitation to go to Him, just as He turned to the Father to find light and rest.
Rest in the Bible is never only physical rest because what tires man is not so much effort, but loneliness, wandering in life without purpose and without companions.
What tires man are the energies that we waste, the useless wars that we engage in to find life in the wrong place.
Rest, therefore, is only in the encounter with God, in relationship with Him.
In today’s words, we find an echo of the Beatitudes: in the Spirit, Jesus sees that in the poor, in the excluded, in the afflicted, the Kingdom of God is present, and there the Father reveals Himself.
Not in the heights of success and power, but in the baseness of human fragility, the place where it opens to become prayer, to welcome a presence, to listen to a word that calls us blessed just when it would seem the opposite to us.
This is the paradox of the Gospel.