Grant us, O Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who can do no good thing apart from you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
CHALLENGE: How passionately do we pray for the spirit to think and do always those things that lead us to a deeper right relationship with God? How well do our souls magnify the Lord as a witness to others?
OLD TESTAMENT READING: Zechariah 9:9-12: A King Comes to Zion
9 “City of Zion, be full of joy! People of Jerusalem, shout! See, your king comes to you. He always does what is right. He has won the victory. He is humble and riding on a donkey. He is sitting on a donkey’s colt. 10 I will take the chariots away from Ephraim. I will remove the war horses from Jerusalem. I will break the bows that are used in battle. Your king will announce peace to the nations. He will rule from ocean to ocean. His kingdom will reach from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. 11 I will set your prisoners free from where their enemies are keeping them. I will do it because of the blood that put into effect my covenant with you. 12 Return to your place of safety, you prisoners who still have hope. Even now I announce that I will give you back much more than you had before.
PSALM 145: 1-13
1 I will magnify you, O God my King, *
and I will praise your Name for ever and ever.
2 Every day will I give thanks to you, *
and praise your Name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and most worthy to be praised; *
there is no end of his greatness.
4 One generation shall praise your works to another, *
and shall declare your power.
5 As for me, I will be talking of the glorious splendor of your majesty, *
and of all your wondrous works.
6 They shall speak of the might of your marvelous acts, *
and I also will tell of your greatness.
7 The remembrance of your abundant goodness shall they proclaim, *
and they shall sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, *
long-suffering, and of great kindness.
9 The Lord is loving to everyone, *
and his mercy is over all his works.
10 All your works praise you, O Lord, *
and your faithful servants give thanks to you.
11 They speak of the glory of your kingdom *
and talk of your power,
12 That your power may be known to the children of men, *
even the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, *
and your dominion endures throughout all ages.
NEW TESTAMENT READING: Romans 7:21-8:6
21 Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 Deep inside me I find joy in God’s law. 23 But I see another law working in me. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls me. 24 What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? 25 I give thanks to God who saves me. He saves me through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law. But sin controls my desires. So I am a slave to the law of sin.
The Holy Spirit Gives Life
8 Those who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer under God’s judgment. 2 Because of what Christ Jesus has done, you are free. You are now controlled by the law of the Holy Spirit who gives you life. The law of the Spirit frees you from the law of sin that brings death. 3 The written law was made weak by the power of sin. But God did what the written law could not do. He made his Son to be like those who live under the power of sin. God sent him to be an offering for sin. Jesus suffered God’s judgment against our sin. 4 Jesus does for us everything the holy law requires. The power of sin should no longer control the way we live. The Holy Spirit should control the way we live.
5 So don’t live under the control of sin. If you do, you will think about what sin wants. Live under the control of the Holy Spirit. If you do, you will think about what the Spirit wants. 6 The thoughts of a person ruled by sin bring death. But the mind ruled by the Spirit brings life and peace.
GOSPEL: Matthew 11:25-30 : Rest for All Who Are Tired
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father. You are Lord of heaven and earth. You have hidden these things from wise and educated people. But you have shown them to little children. 26 Yes, Father. This is what you wanted to do.
27 “My Father has given all things to me. The Father is the only one who knows the Son. And the only ones who know the Father are the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to make him known.
28 “Come to me, all you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. 30 My yoke is easy, and my load is light.”
ZECHARIAH 9:9-12 This passage focuses on Jesus’ final days. from His entering Jerusalem on a colt (Palm Sunday) through his death and resurrection opening the way to His new covenant (relationship) setting the captives to sin free, giving new life to all who believe.
PSALM 145 describes the Church's blessing and honoring of the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God for all His works in the Incarnation and the power of his deeds We bless His name every day as we will bless and honor Him in the world to come (vv. 1, 2, 13).
ROMANS 7:18-23 Paul tells us the difference between the will of the soul and the will of the flesh. Because the soul is reborn in baptism, it can strive to follow the law of God (v. 22). Yet our flesh remains corrupt in this world, and it often fights against our will to do good.
7:24 Who will save me from this sin that brings death? This question is answered in 8:1–4. The term body of death refers to our corrupted state in this world; it does not imply that the body is evil, for the body is good. In this world, however, it remains in need of final redemption.
7:25 The conclusion is far from hopeless. The final blame is not to be found in man's nature, nor in the law, but in sin itself.
8:1 Repentant sinners will have no condemnation if they remain in Christ Jesus through faith and baptism and if they walk in the power of the Spirit.
8:3-4 The law of Moses failed because of the weakness of human nature. The term sinful flesh does not imply our nature is inherently sinful but that our flesh has become corrupt and given over to sin. Christ fulfilled both the law and human nature by becoming flesh Himself. Christ did not sin, for He came in the likeness of our sinfulness, but did not succumb to it. In doing so, He condemned sin itself, destroying its power over mankind. In Christ, human nature has final victory over sin.
8:5: The mind here is far more than intellectual capacity. It is the highest knowing faculty of the soul (Gr. nous), the spirit and understanding behind all we think and do. Thus, it follows that repentance literally means to have a “change of mind,” a change not only of intellect but of all our being.
8:6 “The thoughts of a person ruled by sin bring death” means to choose to have one's whole being ruled by sin. “the mind ruled by the spirit brings life and peace.” When we allow the Holy Spirit to rule our hearts, we hear an inner voice, our conscience guiding us toward life and peace. When we choose not to follow this inner voice, we are restless and unhappy.
MATTHEW 11:25 God has hidden the mysteries from the wise of the world, not out of malice toward His creatures, but because of their own unworthiness; it was they who chose to trust their own fallen wisdom and judgment rather than God. Furthermore, it is out of love that God withholds this revelation from those who would scorn it so that they do not receive an even greater condemnation.
11:28-30 Jesus' yoke or way is submission to the Kingdom of God. A yoke could be seen as a sign of hardship, burdens, and responsibilities but in Christ, the yoke is easy, for the power of God works in each person. Furthermore, the reward is infinitely greater than any effort man puts forth. Gentle (v. 29) is literally “meek”. Meekness is an attitude of being content with both honor and dishonor. It is an imitation of Christ, who said, “Learn from Me, for I am gentle [meek] and lowly in heart” (11:29). The meek are God-controlled and have mastery over their passions, especially anger. Meekness is not passive weakness, but strength directed and under control. The earth that the meek will inherit is not power or possession in this world, but the new earth, which is everlasting (Rev 21:1).
 yoke: Wooden yokes were worn by teams of animals. In Bible times (see page 1178 in your NIRV Bible. Animals like oxen yoked together shared the load. Jesus promises to share our load and work beside us.