Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Memorial of Saint Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the Church

(Isaiah 40:25-31; Matthew 11:28-30)

As Isaiah testifies in the first reading, “God is great.” He is much greater than humans – either as individuals or as a collective. St. Ambrose recognized this. Instead of pursuing fame and fortune for himself, he answered God’s call to serve as bishop of Milan. Unfortunately, many people try to compete with God. Rather than accept His precepts of right and wrong, they attempt to establish for themselves norms of behavior. The results are typically disastrous. People become stressed out with disappointing relationships and unfulfilled aspirations.

In the gospel Jesus clarifies the alternative. Living his way brings peace and security since he helps those who come to him. Yes, it does involve some self-sacrifice, but it avoids the hurts that self-righteousness inflicts.

If it sounds too simple to us, we don’t understand the nature of God’s greatness. More than anything else, God’s greatness consists in His love for all. He enables the weak as well as the strong, the dull as well as the bright, the poor as well as the rich to know his support.