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July 9th, 2023 | The 23rd Times

By July 3, 2023September 12th, 2023No Comments

Message from the St. John XXIII Administrator: Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

Last week during the Independence Day occasion, I read again the famous poem by a Jewish woman author, Emma Lazarus, in 1883 titled “The New Colossus”. It can be found on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The poem captured the plight of the millions of migrants who moved to the United States seeking freedom.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The consoling words of this poem seem to echo what Jesus says in today’s Gospel: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mathew 11:28) Jesus explains how he would give rest “take my yoke upon you and learn from me”.

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We try to accumulate unnecessary physical, mental and social burdens in our life and keep on focusing only on them but failing to see the yokes. There is someone who is meek, just savior, peaceful (First Reading) gracious, compassionate and merciful (Ps 145) ready to carry the yoke along with us. To understand these we need to be like little ones with open mind to see everything as ‘men of Spirit’ (Second Reading) not being swamped by worries.

Such child-like trust was evident in the life of our patron saint of our parish Pope St. John XXIII. During the Second Vatican Council days, Pope St. John XXIII used to submit all his anxieties to God by this prayer every night: “Lord, Jesus, I’m going to bed. It’s your Church. Take care of it!”

What/who is my yoke God gave me in my life?
Do I realize Jesus presence that I could learn from him?
Carrying our yokes let’s march forward along with Jesus!

God Bless,

Fr. Jay Raju