Advent 2013

Second Wednesday in Advent - December 11th

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

Throughout today’s readings runs the thread of hope and wholeheartedly trusting in God and His will for us at all times regardless of the situation and throughout all of the various seasons of our lives. Although sometimes as humans we may think “we know better” than God, regarding what’s best for us and even try to make sense of His ways according to our own reason, the prophet Isaiah humbly reminds us that “[God’s] knowledge is beyond all scrutiny.” Therefore, God and His ways must be discerned with an attitude of faith seeking understanding, not with a prideful mind that seeks to impose its own yardstick on Him and His mysterious ways. We must never forget that God is our Creator and we are made in His divine image and likeness, not He in ours.

So often we forget to put God first in our lives and in our relationships with others and instead of becoming an instrument to God’s grace, an obstacle to it. Our society sometimes makes false gods and idols of partial goods such as money, power, pleasure, technology, and honor and they turn us in upon ourselves instead of turning us towards God. However, as the responsorial psalm reminds us, God is kind and compassionate, “slow to anger and abounding in kindness” and He is forgiving, all-merciful and loves us unconditionally.  There is no reason not to trust God, for he is closer to us than we are to ourselves, as St. Augustine tells us, and even became incarnate for our sake and has a plan for us beyond our understanding—one that supersedes and even shatters our greatest expectations.

And God is there waiting to share those plans with us, if only we let Him. Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel  that He will give all those who labor and are burdened rest and peace in our hearts if we simply take His yoke upon ourselves, a yoke which is lighter than the one we bear, which is weighted with worldly cares and concerns. Taking Jesus’ yoke freely upon ourselves requires trust—we must surrender all of our plans, goals, joys, struggles to God and put Him first and realize that we can’t work everything out on our own but need to rely on and place our faith and hope in God Who knows best. We must like a child, humbly trust in God our Father.  

How can we this Advent trust God more genuinely? What do we need to surrender to God to make room for Him in the manger of our hearts this Christmas? 

Elizabeth Hollenbach
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Graduate Student in Theology