09 December 2009

‘Come to me … for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light’

‘Come to me … for my … burden is light’ (Photograph: Greg Tonks)

Patrick Comerford

8.30 a.m., Wednesday 9 December 2009, Said Eucharist: Isaiah 40: 25-31; Psalm 103: 1-10; Matthew 11: 28-30.

May I speak to you in the name of + the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Our Gospel reading in the lectionary this morning is particularly short. So you will glad that this only a short reflection, a very short reflection, and not really a sermon.

But it’s a very appropriate reading as you try to balance your lives at the end of a very long term, between finishing assignments and essays, and getting ready for Christmas at home.

I’m sure some of you are feeling exhausted at this stage, and some of you may even feel that you are the end of your tethers.

But the offer and the promise in this morning’s Gospel reading hold out hope.

In the law of contract, there are two important elements … offer and acceptance.

This morning Christ invites all of us who are tired, frazzled and bothered, weary and heavy-laden, to come to him and if we do he offers us rest. There’s the offer.

What about acceptance?

He simply asks that we take his yoke and learn from him.

Ah, but I can hear you say: “What about the terms and conditions?”

As you know – as the banks and our mobile phone services constantly remind us – all contracts are subject to terms and conditions.

Well the terms and conditions are simple: for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

I still remember how the former Dean of Lismore, Bill Beare, once challenged a clergy meeting in the Diocese of Cashel and Ossory in words like: Who said you couldn’t dump everything at the foot of the cross.

This evening, I hope we have a wonderful evening, all of us, at the Carol Service. Try to dump everything at the foot of the cross during the day so that you can relax and enjoy this evening.

And then try to do it every day. And enjoy the promise of Advent and the look forward to the hope that is born at Christmas.

And so, may all we think, say and do, be to the praise, honour and glory of God, + Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Canon Patrick Comerford is Director of Spiritual Formation, the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. This reflection was shared at the Morning Eucharist in the institute chapel on Wednesday, 9 December 2009.

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