"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
It seems at times that we think we could do it all. We tell ourselves: yes, we can balance our lives amidst all the responsibilities we bear.
We imagine ourselves strong and our weaknesses to be few. But every so often, life reminds that we can't have it all. A personal illness, a falling out with a friend or lover or even the death of a close one reminds us of our fragility in the midst of life's challenges.
Today's readings and Isaiah in particular confronts our hubris with the reminder that even the young “grow faint and weary” and even the strongest of us will “stagger and fall.”
It is in these moments of vulnerability that Jesus offers us this great promise: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Our culture and every religious tradition oftentimes tries to sanitize Christmas and domesticate the coming of Jesus into the world. Nativity scenes and Christmas Carols perhaps can distract us from the truth that Jesus comes into a very broken world and very broken lives.
This makes Jesus's promise of mercy and rest all the more appealing. If we abandon ourselves to the Lord this Christmas, we too will find the pace that surpasses all understanding.