Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

It is getting into this “most wonderful time of the year”.  The pressures of this time of year always seem to be extra high.  Whether you are a student preparing for final exams and writing papers, a teacher correcting many tests and papers, an employee in a store during the holiday chaos, a doctor taking care of the many illnesses that can arise during this time of year, a host trying to prepare the house for the visiting family, or someone who is just feeling the pressure of this season; this time of year can be overwhelming.

The opening prayer for today’s mass asks Almighty God to grant us in divine kindness “that no infirmity may weary us as we long for the comforting presence of our heavenly physician.”  Then, the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah is the prophet instructing the the people of Judah how to keep hope amidst the pressures of their time.  He says, “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 faith or grow weary and His knowledge is beyond scrutiny.  He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes visor 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.” (Is 40, 28-31)  Lastly, our Gospel today is Jesus speaking to the crowds… and to us, “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.”
This is the Christ that we are waiting, longing, and preparing for in this chaotic season!  Today, in the midst of your many tasks, obligations, preparations, and concerns, just pause, take a breath, and know that in this season of Advent waiting and preparing, even in the midst of our extra-intense work, we are preparing for our great renewal, the coming of the source of all life.  In the midst of it all, let us turn to Christ, who can and will renew our strength.  Christ can refreshen our souls, bring needed healing, allow us to soar like eagles…. only if we first make the initiative to go to the Lord and then let the Lord renew us.
December 10th, 2014