Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
December 7, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 103 which bursts with music even as we silently read it!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;Psalm 103:1–2
and all my being, bless God’s holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all God’s benefits.
Our psalm rests today between two Advent readings that pick up its melody of grace and mercy.
In our first reading, Isaiah has just finished praising the Creator in the magnificence of nature. Today’s verses continue that praise and awed wonderment. As we read, we can picture God, robed in glory, marching out the sun, moon, stars …
Lift up your eyes on highIsaiah 40:26
and see who has created these things:
He leads out their army and numbers them,
calling them all by name.
By his great might and the strength of his power
not one of them is missing!
When we take the time to appreciate a sunrise or sunset, or to trace the constellations across the dark December sky, we are doing what Isaiah encourages his listeners to do – trusting our all-powerful God. If our Creator can hold the heaven’s together in eternal beauty, we can expect the same to be done for us who are the most cherished of God’s creatures.
Do you not knowIsaiah 40:28-29
or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary,
and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
In our Gospel, Jesus puts God’s abiding promise into a comforting invitation:
Jesus said to the crowds:Matthew 11:28-30
“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.
As we continue our Advent journey with Isaiah and Jesus, maybe we might like to catch a sunset or sunrise … or go out and look up at the winter stars. Doing so, let’s give ourselves fully in faith to our Creator’s promise to be with us in every rising and setting of our lives. Let us act as people who fully hope and believe:
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,Isaiah 40:31
they will soar as with eagles’ wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.
Poetry: Come – Christina Rossetti
‘Come,’ Thou dost say to Angels,
To blessed Spirits, ‘Come’:
‘Come,’ to the lambs of Thine own flock,
Thy little ones, ‘Come home.’
‘Come,’ from the many-mansioned house
The gracious word is sent;
‘Come,’ from the ivory palaces
Unto the Penitent.
O Lord, restore us deaf and blind,
Unclose our lips though dumb:
Then say to us, ‘I will come with speed,’
And we will answer, ‘Come.’
Music: On Eagle’s Wings – Michael Joncas