“Come to me, all you that 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, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Today’s gospel from Matthew is short but meaningful. Our attention and focus is drawn to the word “yoke.” We find meaning and solace, visualizing God offering us his assistance, connecting to us, sharing our “load” with him. We can see ourselves both walking with him and also allowing him to lead us. God is offering us an invitation to share our personal burden or cross that we might be trying so hard to carry on our own. He offers us help with these challenges, and asks us to listen to his guidance. During Advent, we are called to stop and notice that God is coming. We prepare ourselves by listening, praying, and allowing God to show us the way towards him. By following God’s direction, we can find rest and refreshment for our spiritual souls. This Advent, will you take the time to listen for God’s direction and willingness to help?
—John and Katie Nicolau are active members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Glenview IL, where they have lived for over 23 years. They have been married for 32 years and have 4 children, three of whom graduated from Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL, John’s alma mater. John also serves on the board of Charis, a Jesuit ministry for young adults.
Happy Juan Diego, true and faithful man! We entrust to you our lay brothers and sisters so that, feeling the call to holiness, they may imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel.
Bless families, strengthen spouses in their marriage, and sustain the efforts of parents to give their children a Christian upbringing. Look with favor upon the pain of those who are suffering in body or in spirit, on those afflicted by poverty, loneliness, marginalization or ignorance.
May all people, civic leaders and ordinary citizens, always act in accordance with the demands of justice and with respect for the dignity of each person, so that in this way peace may be reinforced.
—St. John Paul II, July 31, 2002, the day of St. Juan Diego’s canonizationPlease share the Good Word with your friends!