Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

Isaiah 40:25-31
Psalm 103
Matthew 11:28-30

REFLECTION: “Can I believe it?”
Our Gospel reading today gives us simple words: 'you will find rest for your souls'. It is often hard, however, to accept these words, or, to be more precise... to live them.

It is hard to live them because, at times, it is hard for us to believe them. We live in a world filled with violence, inequality, suffering, and pain. Sometimes we imagine this is a unique feature of modern society... but it is only today's manifestation of that fact. The multitude of news networks and their endless news cycle leaves us with images of terror, hurt, and brutality day by day... but the same images were imprinted on the minds of people hundreds of years, yes, even thousands of years ago.

The prophet Isaiah writes to a people who have witnessed foreign oppression, whose faith is teetering, whose spirits in many instances have been crushed... to say nothing of the situation within Judah itself. He passionately refutes the notion that God doesn't care about their plight, and illustrates in the beautiful words that follow how Yahweh's commitment to his people is manifest.

In our own day, we are called to embrace Isaiah's words as a means of reinforcing our faith and trust in Jesus' own promise of rest. If we recognize and embrace who God is, if we are able to understand the immensity of his majesty and the tender personal-ness of his care, then Jesus' promise of an easy yoke, a lightened burden, and rest for the soul become accessible and real to us. But this can only take root in our souls if we can accept God for who he is... and often, that can be a challenge.

But it's a challenge I invite you to accept. Allow God to be sovereign in your life, as he is sovereign over creation. Allow him to rule your heart and mind. Allow him to speak words of comfort to you when even your senses tell you otherwise... and believe them! For Yahweh, the creator of all, is always present to his people... to those who seek him with sincerity and with truth.

Is something causing me to hold back today? I something keeping me from embracing God as I should?