DEC. 9. ADVENT WK. 2. (B) ADVENT WK 2. WED.
Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
The central message within this Gospel lesson is an ‘Invitation’ from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to “Come to me!” God wants us to draw close to him and be his intimate friends, a truth borne out by his becoming one of us and living among us for more than thirty years.
And not only did he live among us, but we also need to ponder the way he lived among us; - by coming into the world as a helpless baby, and subjecting himself to two of his creatures; - on whom he was totally dependent; - but whom he also created?
There was no need for this! He could have simply appeared among us as a wise adult, with no information being provided at all as to his birth, but the form of his entry into the world, as a newborn baby was designed to send a powerful message; - “I may be God, but I do not want that truth to cause you to be afraid; - rather I desire, before all else to be your friend!”
And is this same message not being repeated in this scripture reading, where the adult Jesus is again saying: “Come to me; - I want to be your friend?” And in the same breath he expresses concern for our welfare: “Come to me; - all you who labour and are overburdened; - and I will give you rest”.
But he does not avoid the truth that, as creatures, we have duties towards him as our Creator, and he goes on to say: - “Shoulder my yoke and learn from me!” The ‘yoke’ being the obligations we have towards him as our Creator, - obligations he spent his life teaching us!
“Learn from me” was, and is, Christ’s core teaching! This is why he became one of us and from Bethlehem to Calvary his goal and purpose was to teach his people how to Love God; - a God who desired an intimate relationship with his creatures; - despite the fact that we were all sinners?
It is hard for us to comprehend this simple truth; - that God loves us; - even though we are sinners; - who have a strong inclination to love and serve ourselves, as a result of pride and self-love!
But then we are told what we will receive if we learn from him, and in this extremely short scripture passage he repeats this message twice; - “I will give you rest!” And again; - “you will find rest for your souls!”
We have great difficulty accepting the truth of this simple message; - “If you study my life, and follow my teaching, you will find both peace and rest for your soul, and I will love you!
The reason for this difficulty is that we live in a world that tells us if we want to find happiness and peace the way to do it is to care for ourselves and satisfy our own desires!
Each of us, during our time on earth must struggle with these two opposing views of how to find peace and happiness! Do we listen to the Creator, or do we listen to the world?
Both promise Peace and Rest; - but clearly; - only one of them is speaking the Truth?