AD SENSE

2nd Week of Advent, Wednesday, Dec 9

Isaiah 40:25-31 / Matthew 11:28-30 

God strengthens the weary: They will rise on wings like eagles.

 

Olympic champion Bob Richards has recorded some favorite memories from his Olympic days. One memory is that of U.S. basketball star Bill Bradley giving a Russian athlete a Bible, saying, “It’s the most important thing in the world to me.”

Another memory is that of Fred Hansen, a U.S. pole vaulter. Fred was “nervous and worried because he was behind in the pole vault.” Richards recalls how Hansen stopped “in the heat of the competition to read a letter in which his dad reminded him he can mount up with the wings of eagles.” With that Fred soared over the next crossbar.

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The mighty God is near to the weak. This is the message of today. To the exiles, who felt abandoned by God and who saw the power of Babylon and the supposed might of her gods, God tells through the prophet: “I am the mighty God. Rely on me and I will make you strong.”

Jesus assumes these powers to himself, and he says: “Come to me, you little, humble people who are burdened bylaws in the name of religion, and I, who have become little and humble with you, will strengthen you and teach you to love; then your burdens will be light.”

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What kind of faith do we have in God’s promise to strengthen us when we need help? “They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31

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The number of times a particular word appears in the Bible is usually different for each version of the Bible. Because there is no single correct way to translate the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Bible manuscripts into English. The grammar, structure, and style of those languages are very different from English, and a literal word-for-word translation is not possible.

With regards to the word "heart" in the Bible there as many as 730 or more citations in the Bible. But most translations would agree there is only once when Jesus spoke of His own heart and that is in Matthew 11:29 "Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls", which is part of today's gospel passage. Jesus described His heart as gentle and humble, and it is with a gentle and humble heart that He was obedient to the Father's will. It is with a gentle and humble heart that He was empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim with Good News with authority and to work miracles and wonders. Knowing what the heart of Jesus is like, what can we say of our own hearts? Or what would God say of our own hearts?

The 1st reading describes what our hearts may be like: How can you say, Jacob, how can you insist, Israel, " My destiny is hidden from the Lord, my rights are ignored by my God"? Our hearts may be restless and clouded with doubt, and this has caused us to be tired and weary, and we stumble along the way of life. But Jesus tells us to come to Him and learn from Him, to be gentle and humble of heart and we will find rest for our souls.

And with that we will have hope in the Lord who will renew our strength and we will put out wings like eagles. We will run and not grow weary or tired. So, let us ask Jesus to have a heart like His, a heart that is gentle and humble.

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Let us Pray: Everlasting, mighty God, at times, we do not know where you are or where we are going. When our burdens are heavy to bear, help us to keep searching for you and teach us to become humble again, that we may be open to the strength which you give us through him, who became weary with the weary, Jesus Christ, our Lord for ever.