Advent 2016

Second Wednesday in Advent - December 7th

Is 40: 25-31 // Ps 103: 1-4, 8, 10 // Mt 11: 28-30

Today’s readings call to mind God’s constant invitation to renew our strength and find peace in Him.

The reading from Isaiah 40:25-31 acknowledges God as the ultimate power who never grows weary. Although Israel sometimes feels neglected by God, the Lord makes evident that He constantly pays attention to everyone, especially the weak. Because of our human nature, we may fail and sometimes feel lonely. Thankfully, the Lord combats our human weakness and raises us to new heights when we place our hope and trust in Him.

In Psalm 103, the Lord renews our strength by pardoning our sins with His endless mercy. He then surrounds us with love and compassion to fortify our souls. Daily experiences of kindness build us up and continue to inspire hope. These moments of joy are only easily identifiable when we take the time to pay attention to others.

In the Gospel passage from Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus asks all those who are struggling to come to Him for rest. He wants us to take up his yoke and emulate His humility. A yoke is literally defined as a crosspiece that attaches two oxen together in order to pull a plough. As we take up His yoke, Jesus is like the other ox pulling the yoke beside us.

It is difficult during this busy season to find peace amidst the final weeks of the semester and preparations for Christmas. We grow weary emotionally and physically when we neglect to place our hope in the Lord. The readings today call us to pay attention to ways in which we can grow in fortitude. Taking up our cross is not an easy task to complete alone. By taking up our cross with Jesus in mind, we are comforted knowing the solution to our struggles does not rely solely on us. Jesus is eager to lighten our burdens and instill a sense of peace within our souls. In drawing toward Him, our anxiety is subdued and our cross becomes easier to bear. In submitting ourselves to Christ’s loving yoke we are able to share our burdens and find strength in Him.

I hope when Christmas arrives you feel renewed by the mercy of God and that you will “soar as with wings of an eagle” long after this Advent season concludes.

Christina Dietzler
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Class of 2020