All of us are burdened by something this Advent season. For some, sins weigh heavily on the conscience causing guilt, shame and remorse. Others walk the streets and spend cold and hungry evenings under bridges, unable to find work or shelter. Many people suffer from physical or mental illness and are worn down by months or even years of pain and suffering. Across our world, many women, men and children live under the crushing weight of abject poverty or cower in fear in areas ravaged by war. Whatever burdens we carry, the backpack often overflows and we feel weighed down and tired.
Jesus pleas with us in today’s Gospel: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest”. All of us are invited to respond to that call, whatever station we find ourselves in life. All are the same before our God and all are called. It doesn’t matter who we are, where we live (or don’t live) or what we have done. Jesus invites all of us to rest in him. For his yoke is easy, and his burden is light. Can we rest in that promise when life seems at its darkest? Can we be Christ to one another and reach out to those burdened by life? There are times when our backpack is overflowing. But other times we have extra room and can help in the mission of lightening the burdens of others. Let’s at least commit ourselves to trying.