Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent
(Isaiah 4025-31; Matthew 11:28-30)
Spiritual theologian Fr. Ronald Rolheiser recently offered a short reflection on the “hiddenness of God.” He wrote that the more a person enters into a relationship with God, the greater God’s mystery seems to him or her. In other words, an intimate relationship with God envelops the believer in a “cloud of unknowing.’” This is “a knowing so deep that it can no longer be conceptualized.” In today’s first reading, the prophet comments on God’s hiddenness to a similarly positive effect.
The reading comes from the second part of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. God is in the process of delivering His (the Jewish) people from exile. The people, however, are saying that God does not recognize their plight. They believe that God has forgotten them. God responds to their fear by stating that He has strengthened them. Renewed in heart, the people will see their way back to their homes in Israel.
Sometimes we are tempted to give up pursuing a relationship with God. Some might resign themselves to whatever benefits they might squeeze from the earth. With such a strategy, however, they will miss the glory God has in store for them. It is far better to enter a closer relationship with the Lord by submitting ourselves to Him in prayer and in action. This is the “yoke” that Jesus exhorts us to shoulder in today’s gospel. We will find it not only bearable but a joy because Jesus shares it with us.