“Christ the Consolator” (detail) by Carl Bloch

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

We are closer now to Christmas Day than to this past Thanksgiving Day. The closer we come to Christmas Day, the more hurried many of us become.

“I have to clean the house before our guests arrive. Do I really have time to go to the office Christmas party? What in the world can I buy my wife this year! The budget is just so tight this year. I’m just no good at picking out clothes and jewelry…”

It’s not that buying gifts and planning parties is a bad thing. But in our efforts to take care of the holiday business, we might relegate Our Lord—the Reason for the Season—to the lowest depths of our priority list.

The Lord knows us all too well. That is why He continually calls out to us, placing in our hearts and minds the very thought of Our Savior King, the Child of Bethlehem. He wants us to come to Him with our cares and burdens, not to neglect them, but to find purpose and consolation in them… and right perspective.

But, there is so much more He wants us to bring to Him. When He speaks of labor and burden, He also speaks to the weight of our human condition under our fallen human nature. He can heal our hearts and refresh our souls with a grace that lifts us up to holiness and authenticity, away from sin and ever-closer to His image, for we were made in the image of God—Imago Dei—and are called to an eternal beatitude in His Presence.

Come, Lord Jesus.

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