December 10, 2014

The Gospel Today

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Emmanuel Calumpong):

Advent is a season of waiting for Someone to come.  While we wait for the coming of  Jesus, the Anointed One, the Savior, God invites us, to trustingly lay our burden on Jesus so that He could help lighten it.  What a fitting gospel message for us during this season.

“Come to me all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”   These are  life  and love-giving words from God.  These words of God became real to me when my father died 24 years ago.

I guess you will agree with me how important and precious it is to have a father.  Especially for us men, growing up with a father behind our every success or failure really makes a difference.  My father taught me a lot of things about life and I could say that a very big part of who I am today was because of him. He was a very dependable father to our family, which I wanted to emulate since I was a kid.  That is why, when he died a sudden death due to an accident, I was really devastated that it took me many years to fully  recover from his loss.  Maybe because I just did not lose someone who is so dear to me but also because I lost someone whom I can truly depend on during the trying times of my life.

However, in those very difficult moments of my life, this gospel passage really played a very significant role in order for me to hurdle life’s challenges. Yes, I may have lost my father, but I still  have a Father in heaven who unconditionally and continuously blesses and provides me with all my material and spiritual needs despite of my unworthiness. A Father who gave me a yoke that I could carry and gave me the rest He promised.

Whenever we come to God through Jesus, all our burdens, trials, and all sorts of pain and difficulties become easy for us to carry.  We experience inner strength that enables us to face any challenge before us.  We are not alone.  There is Someone who is ready to support and help us move on in our life’s journey.

Yes, there are still struggles and challenges that beset me everyday. But then I know that I have the Father in heaven who promised to be there for me in the midst of it all and sosuch  burdens become  light and  make  me  continue  living  with grace knowing  that Jesus, the long awaited Savior is with me in my journey.

Jesus’ invitation,  however,  does  not mean the abolition of sorrow and pain, or the  radical change of everything.  When  a person takes  the “yoke” of  Jesus, which means he    submits himself  to the will of God, he will discover that life  with God can be meaningful   indeed. It will turn to be an adventure of joy because the reward that awaits the children of God is exceedingly great.

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