Wednesday, December 9, 2015 ~ Second Week in the Season of Advent

Saint Juan Diego

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said to the crowds: “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.”

 

Meditation: What kind of yoke does the Lord Jesus have in mind for each one of us? And how can it be good for us? The Jewish people used the image of a yoke to express their submission to God. They spoke of the yoke of the law, the yoke of the commandments, the yoke of the kingdom, the yoke of God. Jesus says his yoke is “easy.” The Greek word for “easy” can also mean “well-fitting.” Yokes – the collar worn around oxen used for labor – were tailor-made to fit the oxen well. We are commanded to put on the “sweet yoke of Jesus” and to live the “heavenly way of life and happiness.” Oxen were yoked two by two. Jesus invites each one of us to be yoked with him, to unite our life with him, conform our will with his will, our desires with his desires, our heart with his sacred heart, our lives with his life. Jesus also says his “burden is light.” No burden is too heavy when it’s given in love and carried in love. When we yoke our lives with Jesus, he also carries our burdens with us and gives us his strength to follow in his way of love.

 

Prayer: O God, who by means of Saint Juan Diego showed the love of the most holy Virgin Mary for your people, grant, through his intercession, that, by following the counsels our Mother gave at Guadalupe, we may be ever constant in fulfilling your will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: During this Season of Advent we celebrate the coming of the Messiah King who ushers in the reign of God. The Old Testament prophets foretold that the Messiah would establish God’s kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Those who put their trust in God and in the coming of his kingdom receive the blessings of that kingdom – peace with God and strength for living his way of love, truth, and holiness (Isaiah 40). Jesus fulfills all the Messianic hopes and promises of God’s kingdom. That is why he taught his disciples to pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  In his kingdom our sins are not only forgiven but removed sacramentally with mercy and compassion, and eternal life is poured out for all its citizens. This is not a political kingdom, but a spiritual one.  Sometimes we get caught up in politics and the rhetoric of our political parties and affiliations – none of which will get us to heaven.  There is only one Savior, the son of God, who was sent into this world out of love by God to save us from ourselves and to redeem us from our sins. Take the yoke of Christ upon you, let Jesus guide you as only he, our Good Shepherd, can, and let his light illuminate the one path that leads to eternal life with him in heaven.