The Lord will grant that my weak voice will be strong enough today to keep your attention. Please help me by your silence, for my mind is ready but the flesh weak. Having conceived joyous things from Gods Scriptures, that mind is now in labor, and desires to give birth to them in your ears and minds. Provide a nest for the word in yourselves. The Scriptures praise the turtle dove that seeks a nest where she may lay her little ones (Ps 83[84]:4). (Sermon 37, 1; PL 38, 221)I will divide Sichem (Ps 59(60):8. How does the Church divide Sichem? Sichem means shoulders. Shoulders are divided when their sins weigh down some while others bear Christs burden. He was looking for devout shoulders when he said, My yoke is easy and my burden is light (Mt 11:30). Other burdens press and weigh you down; Christs burden lifts you. Other burdens have weight; Christs burden has wings. If you remove the wings of a bird, it might seem as if you are removing a burden, but the more of the burden you take away, the more the bird will be earth-bound. The bird you wanted to unburden just lies there; it cant fly because you took away its burden. When the burden returns, the bird flies. That is what Christs burden is like. Dont be slow to take it on you; forget about the ones who dont want to carry it. Let them bear it who wish to, and they will find how light it is, how sweet, how pleasant, how it snatches you away from the earth and takes you up into the sky. (Augustine, EnPs 59(60), 8; PL 36, 719)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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