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LEARNING FROM OTHERS-Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We learn in many ways, but a great deal of our learning happens by observing other people, listening as they speak, imitating them, and following their advice.

We learn from other people.

Just consider how much infants and little children learn from their parents and from other family members. They learn how to speak, how to eat solid food, how to behave, how to interact with other people, and how to deal with the world around them.

That learning continues in school. Students learn from their teachers, classmates, coaches, counselors, and mentors.

Learning from others also persists throughout our adult lives. Just consider the extent to which our opinions, our values, our lifestyles, how we dress, what we buy, and even what we eat and drink are affected and influenced by other people. We do not exist in isolation, we learn from others.

If we learn from the right people our lives can improve, but the opposite is equally true. Learning from the wrong people can lead us in a negative direction.

In this Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 11:25-30), Jesus reveals the most important person from whom we should be learning. He says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”

Jesus wants us to learn from him for he is the only one who can teach us what God is like. As he said, “No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

In the words and actions of Jesus, we learn about God. God, the Holy One who is beyond human understanding, smiles at us in Jesus and invites us into a personal relationship with him.

At the same time, Jesus is the one from whom we learn how to live truly human lives – lives of meaning and purpose, of inner peace and contentment, lives that positively impact all those we meet. We learn from the one who lived perfectly as God intended his people to live.

If we feel burdened, overwhelmed, confused, and unsure of the meaning of our existence, it may be because we are learning from the wrong people.

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, …. learn from me.”

© 2017 Rev. Thomas B. Iwanowski

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