December 9, 2020 – Wednesday 2nd week of Advent
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120920.cfm)
Are you carrying some burdens now? Are you worried at the moment? Are you afraid of something? Recognizing these questions tell us about our dispositions and even tell us about what we are hoping for. We hope to be freed from our burdens, from worries and anxieties. Yet, we cannot do this alone. We need the company of others to help us.
Thus, we ask God to help us in our problems and concerns. However, sometimes we demand God to take them away immediately from us. But, there is a danger around here. There is a temptation in us to think of a God who does magic and can take away all those concerns that burden us at once.
God does not offer us magic what God offers us rather, is his gentle, empowering and understanding kind of friendship. The Book of Prophet Isaiah tells us of this friendship with God. God does not grow tired or weary. God even gives us strength and life. Isaiah proclaimed this to the Hebrew people when they became hopeless because of the suffering they endured while at their exile in a foreign land. They displayed weariness and boredom because of the long wait of the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah reminded them of God who never forgets for his knowledge is without limit.
This is what Matthew proclaimed in the Gospel. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened!” Jesus invites us to come to him and to welcome him in our life that we may be liberated from our burdens and sins, to be free from worries and anxieties.
Jesus tells us that God does not terrorize us with God’s might and power nor subjects us with his influence nor does magic to remove all our difficulties at once. Jesus gives us a humble invitation to come to him as our friend – a true friend who is gentle, humble and compassionate, willing to walk with us.
As our friend, Jesus offers us his yoke. A yoke was put on the necks of two animals to plow the field for planting. There were usually two cows so that the weight becomes lighter and the plowing easier and faster. The yoke that Jesus speaks about is from this image. That yoke symbolizes the Gospel that we receive today – and that Gospel is Jesus the Lord himself.
Jesus offers himself as our friend. He is not promising us to remove all troubles in life at once, as his life was also filled with pain and suffering. He tells us today that though life may be filled with worries and anxieties, fears, failures and insecurities, with shame and guilt, yet, we will never be alone in our struggle for he renews and strengthens us.
Jesus invites us to carry those troubles with him, to pull our burdens with him, to share our trials with him, to draw strength from him and to allow him to help us. Remember, the Lord does not do good things for us, but rather, he does great things with us. He does not do miracle for us but he does it with us.
With this experience with Jesus, we may also become willing and generous people – who will be ready to cheer up a friend filled with doubts, ready to give comfort to a friend suffering from grief and sorrow, ready to listen to a friend who needs someone to talk to, so that we too will become God’s instrument of brining freedom and inner peace to our overburdened brothers and sisters in this Season of Advent and Christmas. Hinaut pa.