- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

December 11, 2918

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

2nd Wednesday of Advent
Isaiah 20: 25 – 31; Ps 103; Matthew 11: 28 – 30

First, Isaiah proposes a question: “Do you not know or have you not heard?” then He answers it: “The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth.” In a few words Isaiah underlines the immense power of God, a power that is beyond our comprehension as is His gracious mercy.

The responsorial psalm, Ps. 103, is a proclamation of this divine mercy, mercy as strong as the power to create – one of the most assuring, encouraging psalms in the Scriptures. For the psalmist this mercy has to draw forth the grateful response of the whole person: “Bless the Lord, my soul; and all my being, bless His holy name.”

When we were learning our faith, we were taught the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy as ways of living our faith and as ways to imitate our God in His mercy. Through the psalmist God reveals His works of mercy: He pardons, He heals, He redeems, He crowns with kindness and compassion, He fills us with all that is good. It cannot be proclaimed enough nor believed enough that this is our God to whom we entrust our lives our Lord whose mercy endures forever.

In His public life Jesus revealed repeatedly His mystery, His mission:
“I am the way, the truth, the life…I have come to seek and save the lost…Take and eat, take and drink this is My Body and My Blood…I am the Resurrection and the Life.” All of these and more are contained in Jesus’ passionate command, “Come to Me!” He desires with desire that we experience His merciful presence; that we come to Him in prayer, in vigils, in fasting, through work, through charity, in other words, through our life of faith.

The Lord Jesus, whose advent we celebrate, is the incarnate mercy of God and He more than invites us, with desire beyond our understanding He commands us to come to him and to receive the mercy of pardon, of healing, of Life. Jesus is clear: “Take My yoke upon you. Learn from Me.” He Himself is the Yoke and His wisdom recreates us in mercy. To come to Him is to praise and such praise is always the act of profound gratitude.