Dec 9 2020 Reflection
Wednesday 9 December 2020
First Reading: IS 40:25-31
O bless the Lord, my soul!
PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10
Gospel Reading: MT 11:28-30
Today’s Note: Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent
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.”
Lift up your eyes. (Isaiah 40:26)
Do you remember the story of Abraham? One night, God took him outside and told him, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so . . . will your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5). At the time, Abraham and his wife, Sarah, both advanced in years, were still childless. But here was God promising them countless offspring—an entire nation that would become a blessing to the world.
Fast-forward to today’s first reading, and we see Abraham’s descendants living in Babylon in shame and exile. They had become numerous indeed, but their sin and unfaithfulness to the Lord had turned them into a laughingstock instead of a blessing.
In the midst of their humiliation, a prophetic voice arises and urges them to follow Abraham’s example, look up to the stars, and believe in God’s promise. Just as it seemed impossible for Abraham to become the father of a great multitude, so it would seem impossible for God to bring them home. But that’s exactly what he did. He forgave all their sins and led them on the long march back to Jerusalem. He even renewed their strength so that they could “run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint” along the way (Isaiah 40:31).
Are you weary? Are there areas in your life that make you feel anxious or fearful? Or maybe there is a pattern of sin that you can’t break and that is draining you of your hope or joy. Whatever the case, follow your ancestors in faith and lift up your eyes.
Do it tonight, in fact. Go out and gaze at the stars. Put yourself in Abraham’s shoes as he looked up at the sky. Join the exiles in Babylon when they first heard the words in today’s reading. As you do, recall God’s promises to you in Christ.
Jesus has promised to be with you, to hear you when you call out to him, to wipe every tear from your eyes, and to forgive your every sin. He has promised to nourish you with his Body and Blood so that you can “run and not grow weary” (Isaiah 40:31). And above all else, he has promised to love you—always.
“Lord, as I stand under your stars, I can’t help but be in awe of your love.”