Finding Rest – Good News for December 9

9 12 2009

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.”

The Daily Path: If you look around it’s easy to see how the Christmas season can become a labor for some. The day before Thanksgiving starts a madness I call “The Thirty Days of Macy’s.” We start rushing here. Consuming there. Go! Go! Go! Spend! Spend! Spend! Then on December 26 you collapse from exhaustion, start crying over the expenditures you couldn’t afford, and drag yourself to work. As John Lennon once wrote in a song “And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?”

Have we spent the season laboring of love or just laboring? Are we using Advent to prepare for the birth of the Savior, or working to keep R.H. Macy in business?

I had two wonderful experiences last night. The first was attending the children’s mass at our parish celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Our pastor took special care to set the mood and engage the kids in recognition of this important event. The church was simply decorated with striking symbolism. Two large manzanita cuttings adorned either side of the altar. The cuttings were barren of any foliage, and one third of each bore tiny white lights leaving the rest stark and barren. I don’t know if Fr. Wayne intended this symbolism, but I saw how Christ can enter our lives with His light, gradually overcoming the darkness, branch by branch, if we allow Him to do so. Mary accepted the light of God to grow within her so that the entire world would one day bask in its glow.

The second event has become a tradition in our household. We all sit down to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. I can still vividly recall it’s premier on CBS back in 1965. Of all the holiday shows on television, Charles Schultz’ masterpiece is the one that should be required viewing for every Christian during this time of year. In it, poor Charlie Brown is trying to find the true meaning of Christmas amid all the commercialism the season can bring. In the midst of Charlie’s struggle, it’s his little friend Linus who, in his usual wisdom, provides the true meaning of Christmas as he takes center stage and quotes the Gospel of Luke (2:8-14). “And there were shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks…”

Christmas shouldn’t become a false labor for us. Jesus offers to give us rest from our burdens. Look to the Child for the true meaning of Christmas. Find respite in the true labors of love.





Good News for July 16

16 07 2009

Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said, “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.”

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