Today’s saint: Lucy (283 – 304)
Isaiah 40:25-31 – Psalm 103 – Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
These words of Jesus are the beginning of today’s Holy Gospel. What do you think Jesus meant when He said the words quoted above?
As I was preparing today’s reflection I found myself jumping back and forth from one set of readings to another and getting on the verge of frustration: “Which way am I going to go? How do I come up with words that speak to the Universal Catholic world?
The key seems to be a focus on Mary, the “rose blooming” in the cold and dark of winter, which certainly figures in with our Advent themes.
Nobody knows the exact date of the Birth of Christ. We can almost pin it down to the year – which I think comes out to be 6 BC. Ironic that Jesus is born six years before Christ! Still, the Church celebrates the Birth of Christ just after the Winter Solstice when the days are beginning to get longer so that Jesus can say, “I am the Light of the World.” That’s also why the Church celebrates the Birth of John the Baptist on June 24th – just after the Summer Solstice when the days are getting shorter – so that John can say, “I must decrease so that He (Jesus) can increase!”
The other factor that plays into this winter celebration is the miracle of the roses. After Juan Diego encountered the Virgin he was stunned and more so with the miraculous roses that began to bloom through the snowy ground. When he gathered them up in his “tilde” and took them to the Bishop the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was impressed on his cloak
Bottom line: if God can make a highway for us through the hills and valleys of our lives – and cause roses to bloom in the cold of winter don’t you think that he can turn the darkness of our lives around and show us the way to go?
Our prayer on this Advent Wednesday – no matter where we are in the world – might best be back to that old stand-by: “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!” (the Doubting)