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Sixth Sunday

Growing up, I was the second oldest of five boys. That means I had one brother who was the boss and three brothers who were clueless. It was absolutely impossible to grow up with four brothers and not use the word idiot. With that said, I grew up, minding my own business, then all of a sudden I hit puberty. Let me tell you how hard it is not to look at girls…. No, actually I don’t have to tell you how hard it is because you already know. So, this is my question: Why does Jesus make the laws so difficult to fulfill in the Sermon on the Mount; why does He put heavy burdens on our shoulders, too heavy to carry? He tells us why two chapters later in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is having dinner with the Pharisees and He tells them, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, you interpret the law by placing heavy burdens on peoples’ shoulders.” Are you kidding me? With all do respect, Lord, but look who is talking. Yes the Pharisees require us to pay a tax on cucumbers and heads of lettuce, but that is the law I can handle. Jesus goes on to explain that scribes and Pharisees are not hypocrites for placing heaving burdens on peoples’ shoulders, they are hypocrites because they do not lift a finger to help them. Jesus places burdens, but He helps lift the burdens. Later our Lord will say, “Come to Me all you who are burdened, and I will give you rest for My yoke is easy and burden light. I want you to remember the ‘easy.’”

I just returned from some hospital work and Brother Jerry said we have a bat in the house. I thought he was kidding, but I turned the corner and there was a bat flying around in the downstairs hall. Naturally I asked the question: “How do you get a bat out of the house”? I sought advice to my confreres and friends. They all advised me to shoot it. Knowing that was not a viable option, I called professional help. The exterminator informed me that it was very difficult to get a bat out of the house. He needed to come and do an evaluation, check the gutters for potential openings, fix all openings etc. I said, I have a big complex, that sounds like it is going to cost a lot money. He assured me that it would. I then went on YouTube and typed “How to get bat out of house.” A woman comes on the screen and says, “You need to know two things: First, do not shoot the bat, and second, it is easy to get a bat out of the house. Just open the window and the bat will follow the draft of the air out the window. If this does not work, then just let the bat fly around until it flies into a room. Isolate the bat by shutting the door. The bat will land on the wall or floor. Approach the bat with a plastic container, and don’t worry about the bat flying away, the bat can’t see you. Cover the bat with the container and slide a piece of cardboard between the opening of the container and the wall. Once the bat is in captivity, bring the container outside and let the bat go free. Remember the bat is your friend because he will eat all the nasty mosquitoes around your home. I thought, “That sounds so easy that it couldn’t work, but I will try it.” Sure enough, the bat flies into the laundry room. I shut the door and there it is resting on the floor. It was clockwork, easy. Let me say that word again: Easy. What was the word Jesus used to describe our burdens? Easy.

Here is the key to success in life: You have to go to the right person with your burdens. Naturally, the person I am going to suggest you already know. So why not go to the right person with your problems, difficulties, and mission impossible. I thought getting the bat out of the house was going to be difficult. Maybe fulfilling the law is not so hard — if we go to the right person. Remember our Lord’s advice – “Come to Me.” “Come to Me all you who are burdened (with the details of the Law), My yoke is easy, and My burden light.”

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