Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent
(Isaiah 40:25-31; Matthew 11:28-30)
Yesterday the Church began the Year of Mercy. Pope Francis called for it so that Catholics might contemplate this quintessential attribute of God. He stated in his official pronouncement that they are also to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. These will alleviate the misery which so many poor and persecuted people feel.
Francis points to Jesus as the fullest expression of God’s mercy. He comes to forgive our sins and lead us in a new way of righteousness. In today’s gospel Jesus tells the crowds that their worries are unnecessary. No doubt they like all humans concern themselves with possessions and power and prestige. They can leave these aside to take upon themselves his burden of seeking the welfare of others. This pursuit will bring them peace.
We are wise to follow the order that Francis gives in his pronouncement of mercy. First, we should consider the many ways that God has been merciful to us. Perhaps we had parents who made considerable sacrifice so that we might go to college. Or maybe we recovered from a serious illness. Then, responding to God in gratitude, we are to assist others who have great needs today.