Zac DavisDecember 09, 2020
Photo by Emma Frances Logan on Unsplash

Like most things in 2020, this will be an Advent unlike any other. But each day, you can still take a few minutes to reflect on the coming of our savior at Christmas with short reflections on Scripture, written by the staff of America Media.

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A reading from the Gospel of Matthew

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

Leading up to and on your wedding day, people (married or not) love to offer advice (solicited or not) about what makes for a good marriage. The results are usually a mixed bag, but one of the worst adages is also one of the most popular: Don’t ever go to bed angry.

When I’m tired, I am irritable, short-tempered, more likely to lash out and feel like every little inconvenience is the end of the world. My spouse and I have both agreed that most of the time it’s better to roll over and offer an olive branch (in the form of coffee and pastries) in the morning.

Yeah, yeah, I know that advice is technically biblical (“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” we read in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians), but so is Jesus’ message in today’s Gospel: “I will give you rest,” he tells the crowds. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

With the pandemic calling us to stay home and safe, we are presented with an opportunity and challenge: Can we do less? Can we allow ourselves to rest?

During Advent, we prepare our hearts for the Christ-child to arrive. The run-up to the holidays can make it feel like the rest that Jesus promises is like a Christmas gift that was supposed to have free two-day shipping but got lost in the mail. There’s so much to do: shopping, decorating and maybe even having difficult conversations about what a “safe” celebration looks like this year. There is a temptation to try and “just get through” this season and then look for rest in the new year.

But what if we’re not free to respond to the graces of this Advent season because of the fatigue, stress and busyness we are preoccupied with?

With the pandemic calling us to stay home and safe, we are presented with an opportunity and challenge: Can we do less? Can we allow ourselves to rest?

Pray

  • Are you anxious because of the holiday season? What can you do to find the care and relief of Christ during this time?
  • How can you ignore the tiredness and irritation in your own life, and focus instead on easing the burdens of others?

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