As Christmas creeps upon us like a stealthy cat or a barefoot child, most people in our world today are too distracted to stop and sit back and remember what Christmas is really all about. Instead they are on the run. If you doubt it, spend a few minutes walking up and down the High Street today and count the number of tired, distracted and worried faces. Notice how many walk like marathon runners who have lost the race. See how many check their watches like Mad Hatters late for a very important date. I’m reminded of an old proverb that says, “Where there is a clock there is no soul”.
As we move further into Advent, our ears are hungry for Isaiah’s promise and our Saviour’s invitation. If Isaiah were to stand on any of our High Streets today, he couldn’t have offered us a more fitting prophecy. His words to the liberated Israelites remind us that the coming of Our Lord freed us from captivity to sin and death. We are to remember who created us, to remember that we are a holy people bound for glory, a glory that cannot be bought or sold. And so we are to hope in the Lord. He alone can make us soar like eagles and enable us to renew our strength.
Our Lord calls us to be eagles. But he sees that we are more often like beavers that have just one more dam to build. We are so busy and distracted that we shop on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, we find ourselves too tired to pray during the week, we neglect time with the children or the elderly in our lives. We tell ourselves, “God will understand!” There is just never enough time.
It’s just because Our Lord does understand our dilemma that he tells us to slow down and listen to the quiet beating of our hearts – and his! We remember that without him we can do nothing of value. We recall that we don’t live to work or shop or make ourselves indispensable to others. We live for the kingdom of God. Today we honour the memory of St. Lucy. Refusing to let the world rule her, she gave her life in one glorious act of martyrdom. Will we give ours in the daily acceptance of that easy yoke the Our Lord offers to those who take the time to listen?