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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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St. Ambrose

Isaiah 40:25-31
Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10
Matthew 11:28-30

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o, come, o, come — to the cross

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon your shoulders." —Matthew 11:28-29

In eighteen days, we will be singing "O come, all ye faithful." When we come to Jesus with all our weariness and burdens, He will give us rest by first unburdening us and then re-burdening us with His yoke, the cross. When we realize that Jesus is about to put the weight of the cross on our lives, we are afraid and feel like running away. However, if we are "faith-full," full of faith, we will trust Jesus and take up the cross (see Lk 9:23). We will be surprised that the weight of the cross feels light (see Mt 11:30), although it is the heaviest weight possible. Then we will realize that Jesus has borne the weight of the cross, and we have only a small share of His sufferings.

As we fill up in our bodies what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (Col 1:24), we are filled with even greater faith. Then the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled: "They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint" (Is 40:31).

Burdens + faith in Jesus + the cross = rest + greater faith in Jesus + supernatural strength. "O come, all ye faithful."

Prayer:  Father, I will boast of nothing but the cross (Gal 6:14).

Promise:  "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." —Is 40:28-29

Praise:  St. Ambrose taught, pastored, and gave to the poor while defending the Faith. Referring to Scripture, St. Ambrose wrote: "He who is full, refreshes others."

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Hold Fast to the Faith, order, listen to or download our CD 71-1 or DVD 71 on our website or order our tape on audio AV 71-1 or video V 71.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 10, 2016

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