Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Come To Me, All You Who Are Burdened, And I Will Give You Rest.

Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

First Reading        Isaiah 40:25-31

To whom can you liken me as an equal?
says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
and see who has created these things:
He leads out their army and numbers them,
calling them all by name.
By his great might and the strength of his power
not one of them is missing!
Why, O Jacob, do you say,
and declare, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know
or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary,
and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youths stagger and fall,
they that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles’ wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.

Responsorial           Psalm 103

R. O bless the Lord, my soul!

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.

R. O bless the Lord, my soul!

Gospel                   Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

+++ +++ +++ +++

Of all the things Jesus said, these words in Matthew’s gospel are perhaps some of the most challenging. You would think that I would welcome them with open arms and rush into Jesus’ embrace, laying all my burdens at his feet and rejoicing that he will carry me as far as I need to go. But, he is not just asking me to lay down my troubles; he is asking me to take his yoke upon me and learn from him. There is the challenge!

How easy it is to dump the whole mess on Jesus and how hard to take on the yoke of love, forgiveness, hope, tenderness, empathy – Jesus’ yoke and imitate his humility and meekness. My heart is not nearly humble enough, and, far from being meek, I am sometimes way too bold and self-assured.

My challenge is to lay aside my ego and put on Jesus’ yoke so that I can pull the heavy weight of another’s burden and be the brother of sister Jesus asks me to be. Mostly, donning his yoke requires that I wait patiently on Jesus’ leading and live fully in the moment each moment of my life.

How will you take on Jesus’ yoke and learn from him? How will your spirit manifest his humility and meekness?

Advent blessings

Katherine Duck
St. Monica Parish, Indianapolis

1 comment:

Sarah in the tent said...

Jesus doesn't actually tell us to lay down our burdens. He offers rest and an additional yoke.
When animals are yoked together they share the burden. If a weak ox with a heavy burden is yoked to a strong ox with a light burden, the weak ox will find his burden lightened. When we take Christ's yoke, His strength makes our burden easier.

I like the phrase in Isaiah: 'He makes vigor abound'. It reminds me of Christ's promise of abundant life.