Daily Bible Reflections
for December 10, 2008

Dear Friend,

See Him beside you this whole Wednesday!

Praying for you,

Bo Sanchez

Live this second Sunday of Advent with deep trust!




“For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.” – Matthew 11:30
Today, my husband Ed and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Between Ed and I, we have about 500 immediate relatives and close friends. Even if we want to, we can’t afford to throw a party for all of them. So we had long agreed that it’s better to give our little extra money to charity.
But the Lord has honored our humble intention. Almost always, we’ve celebrated our wedding anniversary in a grand way — without having to spend a fortune — with most of the people we want to invite.
Like a couple of years ago. It was a busy year for us and when December came, we were simply dog-tired to even dream of having a grand wedding celebration. But we were invited to serve at a Christmas party at the Correctional Institute for Women on December 10. To our surprise, a portion of the program was dedicated to honoring us, praying over us, and, corny as it may seem, we even did an anniversary wedding dance.
It was one of the best celebrations we’ve ever had, proving true God’s promise in today’s Gospel that He would make our load light. And He did not only take away our yoke. He made us very happy.Cynthia Santiago
Come, trust your burdens unto the Lord.
Lord, today, I lay at Your feet every heavy load I carry.

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Isaiah is not going to let the people forget that they are responsible for their own plight in that they have given in to the temptation of sin and are now bearing the consequences of that sin. However, God has not forgotten them and redemption is close at hand. God, once again, will reach into human history and save His people from themselves!
Isaiah 40:25-31
27 [25] To whom can you liken me as an equal? Says the Holy One. 28 [26] Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these. 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! 29 [27] Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? 30 [28] Do you not know 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. 31 [29] He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. 32 [30] Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, 33 [31] 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.
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10
R: O bless the Lord, my soul!
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (R) 3 He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. 4 He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. (R) 8 Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. 10 Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. (R)
Jesus affirms that He is not here on earth to add to the burdens of the people. Rather, He is here to help us carry the ones we already have. What a relief that is! Our God is not only a God of mercy and love, He actually reaches into our lives to relieve us of the burdens of sin so that we will be freer to live for Him. Unfortunately, this does not always follow and we fall back into the same sins. In honor of the Lord’s love for us, let us seek to avoid this pattern in the future.
Matthew 11:28-30
28 Jesus said to the crowds: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
my reflections
think:God is not only a God of mercy and love, He actually reaches into our lives to relieve us of the burdens of sin so that we will be freer to live for Him.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________

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ADVENT Merienda
Who does not look forward to merienda time? Who does not enjoy the daily coffee break? The coffee break refreshes and relaxes us; it gives us the strength to continue the often tiring work.
After nine days of heavy messages for our spiritual Advent exercises, the Church offers us a break. In the first reading, Isaiah assures us that the Lord “gives strength to the wearied,” that He renews the strength of those who hope in Him. And today’s very short Gospel passage contains one of the most beautiful words that came from the lips of Jesus. They are directed to those who labor and are burdened. The Greek words speak of grinding toil and desperate burdens. The invitation to such weary people is to come to Jesus who will give them rest. The Greek word for “rest” here suggests renewal and refreshing. It does not promise that the burdens will go away or that we will never again be weary. It does promise renewal and refreshment in the difficult journey of life. The key word in this invitation is the word “yoke.” This word was used in Judaism in a figurative way to signify submission, discipline, duty, and obedience. However, it also spoke of freedom and life.
Jesus says that this Christian yoke is easy, well fitting. When Christ renews and refreshes us from our weary burdens in the journey of life, the discipline of obedience to Him is not burdensome, but a joy. What a beautiful message for our Advent journey. December is, for most of us, the busiest time of the year. And here comes Jesus telling us, “Slow down, listen for while. Have a spiritual merienda.” Remember Martha and Mary? Martha was busy cooking a delicious supper for her beloved Master while Mary sat at His feet and listened to Him. And Jesus praises her and makes Martha aware that Mary had chosen the better part. “Come to me… and I will give you rest.” Are you ready to sit down at His feet and rest with Him during these hectic days? Fr. Rudy Horst
Reflection Question:
Am I ready to schedule a regular spiritual merienda time with the Lord?
Slow me down, Lord. I thank You so much for today’s message. How I need it during these days of preparation for Christmas. Every  merienda time, I will remember Your invitation and try to sit more at Your feet where You offer spiritual refreshment.
St. Eulalia of Merida, virgin and martyr, pray for us.

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