The holidays can be a tough time mentally on people. The stress of buying the perfect gift; the stress of having a perfectly decorated house/yard; the stress of hitting goals at work as the year winds down. Maybe you’ve experienced a recent death and this will be the first Christmas without that loved one…it’s a hard, hard world out there. I read an article yesterday where a family has been torn apart due to a fight they had on Facebook. I have to be honest, we’ve had those same fights in our family but, thanks be to God, we realized where it could lead too and stopped the argument(s) before anything too serious was said or done. Needless to say, there is a lot of stress in our world today. Today’s readings should bring you some comfort.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
Jesus said to the crowds:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
The “Little Blue Book” that I’m reflecting on every morning had a great message to reflect on today. We are called to “make straight our paths” but how do we go about doing that? The Sacraments. We have been baptized into the family of God; we are called to confess our sins; we having nothing more sacred than to ingest the Body of Christ into our physical being – become one with our Lord in the Eucharist. As young adults, we confirm our dedication to the mission. We as married people dedicate our lives to our spouses and children, we honor our parents. Those who’ve been ordained carry the same burden and live their lives for their flock – their parish family. And as when we get near the end, we ask to have our last rights bestowed on us. We do all of this not just for the mere practice of doing it, we do it because by practicing these gifts from God, we are in fact turning to Him for peace. We turn to Him to relieve our stress. We turn to Him to make our lives whole.
Do you not know
or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
Do something great for our Lord today – turn to Him in times of stress. Let Him take the burden of life our your shoulders; let Him shepherd you to the great reward.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.