2nd Week of Advent
Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:28-30
In today’s Gospel Jesus invites us to enter into His “rest.” The “rest” of which He speaks, however, is a spiritual rest, not a physical one. It is a rest for the soul, not for the body.
Man was created by God and for God. He was created to know God, love God, and serve God. When he refuses to do that for which He was expressly created, he suffers from depression, anxiety, boredom, discontentment, restlessness, and feelings of being unfulfilled. He becomes worn out interiorly as he lives out his days ever in search of the joy, peace, and happiness that continue to elude him because of his refusal to live for the purpose for which he was created. What is hurting is his soul. What is hungry, thirsty, searching, and exhausted is his soul, not his flesh.
When we find ourselves experiencing these feelings, this is often our soul’s way of letting us know that we are not providing it with what it needs in order to be sustained. Missed Masses. Missed Sacraments. Missed prayer. Missed spiritual reading. All of these “misses” add up, and they take a heavy toll on the soul within us. Anytime we stay away from the things that are needed in order to keep the soul sustained and energized, we will begin to feel it interiorly.
The biggest mistake we can make is to mistake this interior hunger for an exterior need, but this is precisely what many people do. Their soul is languishing because they haven’t been to Mass in weeks. They feel depressed and “blah” because of this, and so they go out and buy a new outfit or electronic gadget, thinking that this will take away the pain. When this doesn’t do the trick, they continue to labor in search of that which will take it away.
Christ calls us to lay this fruitless labor aside in order to enter into His rest – His soul rest – a rest that can only be experienced when we give the soul what it needs to be nurtured and sustained.
Take time to write in your journal your thoughts and reflections regarding what you have just read concerning Christ’s rest. Have you been neglecting the needs of your soul on such a frequent basis that the soul rest of which Christ speaks in today’s Gospel has become a foreign concept to you? What are some changes that Christ is calling you to make this Advent season so that your soul will be given the “rest” of which He speaks and desires you to have?