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Second Week of Advent

Is. 40:25-31 & Mt. 11:28-30

Some people who say that God created the world and went to sleep, leaving it to run all by itself. When they look around at what is happening today, at the people starving, people homeless, people at war with each other, people suffering from disease, they assume that God is still asleep and completely unconcerned. If only God would awaken and be aware of our plight!

Today’s readings give us a completely different picture of God. The Jewish exiles in Babylon, to whom the first reading was addressed, felt that they too had been abandoned by God. The prophet Isaiah assured them that God is powerfully active in the world, that He never grows faint or weary and is very much aware of everything that is happening. The truth is that God’s act of Creation is continuous and without His constant almighty power the entire Universe would lapse into nothingness. How can we ever say that He is unconcerned?

God is not asleep. He has always been in control of His Creation, gently and wisely directing it until every created thing will be subject to His Son. When Christ comes again, it will be the fulfilment of God’s eternal plan. Then we shall understand many things which now seem disturbing and bewildering.
In today’s gospel, Jesus invites us to come to Him if we find life burdensome and are weary and discouraged. Where do you find life burdensome today? If we stop to reflect in this time before Christmas, we may answer this question with a number of concerns: concerns about how much there is to get done, struggles in our family, personal worry about a family member or friend, sadness over the loss of someone dear, concerns over health for ourselves or a loved one. The list is endless. Jesus says, “Come to Me…and I will give you rest.”

Often we take on too much responsibility instead of placing the responsibility on God; we feel that, “If I don’t do it, who will?” instead of asking God to do it; we become so good at managing our lives that we fail to rely on Jesus whose shoulders are broader than ours. So Jesus says, “Shoulder My yoke and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”

Jesus’ emphasis here is on gentleness and humility. He asks us to assume, as He did, the posture of a child, to come to Him with all our burdens and to place them all on Him. He is telling us, “Don’t try to go through life on your own.” Go to Him in gentleness through the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation or place our burdens on the altar to be transformed. Then we are freed from the heavy burden.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the world You created and conserve. Help us to rely on Your care for us and not to carry our burdens alone.

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