Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

“...learn from will find rest for yourselves.” Mt. 11: 29
The readings today say two main things to me. God’s in charge; He can handle it. And, God gives us rest. In Isaiah, God asks, incredulously, why the people cry out, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God.” I love the response: “Do you not know, or have you not heard” that God is the eternal creator who does not grow weary of caring for you? Rhetorical question or a awesome example of Divine sarcasm?
I have the sense of God asking: “Seriously? What part of ‘omnipotent’ has got you stumped? I got you.” I hear God’s exasperation at my own thick-headedness. It calls me to remember that the God who made everything knows, cares and answers my needs. The second part of the first reading and Gospel both remind me that God’s life in me will give me rest.
The Gospel has another line that I love. Jesus says, “I will give you rest.” But next words are not, “put your feet up” or “sit a while.” They are: “hey, carry this with me.” The whole point of this reading for me - which I have read often in the last year - is the “with me” part. The sooner I shoulder up to Christ, and try to carry the load by His example, the easier this all gets. Then, the wellspring of Life itself begins to well up in me and I find rest. When I try to carry a different yoke, or carry the one Christ offered in some novel way, I hear Jesus say to me in my heart, as a beloved teacher or a caring parent: “Not like that; try it the way I showed you.” Then I can say with the psalmist “O bless the Lord, my soul!”
How do I try daily to follow Christ’s example?

What burden, distress or sadness has made me weary? How has God shown tireless care for me?

How is God inviting me this Advent to renew my strength?
St. Ambrose, pray for us.

reflected by Jason Coito

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