Isaiah 40:25-31
Matthew 11:28-30


A review of world events during 2023 paints a rather bleak picture; the tragic wars in Palestine/Israel and the Ukraine; increasing tensions between China and the West; the existential threat of climate change (the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor), unrest in Africa, South America, Myanmar and so many other places. Arrogance, avarice, power-lust, extreme nationalism and vengeance are top of the agenda.

On the home front, there is despondency about the costs of living, whilst housing is beyond the reach of many. We might ask ourselves, Where is God in all of this?.  even though most of our tribulations are self-generated.

The Book of Isaiah deals with tribulation. It first centers on the Babylonian exile, said to be punishment for the sins of Israel, whilst Chapters 40-55 promise redemption for people who are experiencing the judgment about which the prophet had warned. 

In today’s excerpt from Chapter 40, Isaiah promises that God has the power to deliver his people from the consequences of their own misdeeds.  Who made these stars if not he who leads them out like an army, calling each one by name? (v,26), …… who created the boundaries of the earth, who does not grow tired or weary, whose understanding is beyond fathoming (v.28)….. those who hope in the Lord renew their strength, they put out wings like eagles. They run and do not grow weary, walk and never tire (v.31).

In our short Gospel reading from Matthew 11, Christ seeks our trust when we are overburdened, to lean on him and to learn from him meekness and humility. 

May Christmas and 2024 be times when we rid ourselves of all that separate us from the love of Christ, so that we may humbly rebuild those little corners of the Kingdom which we are privileged to inhabit.

Brian Norman has been associated with the Passionists in various ways since he was three weeks old when he squared off with Fr Placid Millay CP over the baptismal font at St Brigid’s, Marrickville.