Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Ambrose, B.D. (7th December, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 19:2-3.4-5. (R. v. 5);
Saint Ambrose was born about 339 at Trier and was elected Bishop when he was still a catechumen. He accepted the position after hesitation. Ambrose became a famous preacher and defender of the faith. He received Saint Augustine into the Church. He fought paganism and also protected the Church against political power. Saint Ambrose was a Christian bishop of great faith and energy.
Topic: Come to me, (Matt 11:28).
In today’s gospel, Jesus asks all who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens to come to Him and have rest. The gospel reads further: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:29-30).
The book of Lamentations is unambiguous that what brings about true heavy burdens is sin, cf. Lam 1:14; cf. Hos 11:7. Hence Saint Paul admonishes us not to submit again to the yoke of sin, cf. Gal 5:1. The book of Lamentation reads further: “With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest” (Lam 5:5).
God asks us in today’s gospel to come to Him and have the troubling and tiring yokes removed from us, cf. Nah 1:13. We are left with two options – either to go to God and be freed or remain with our heavy burdens.
No matter how bad you think your situation is, be certain that nothing is too hard for God, cf. Gen 18:14; Jer 32:17,27. The blood of our Lord can make the best out of us, cf. Is 1:18. Saint Ambrose understood this so well. Hence, he readmitted the Roman Emperor Theodosius I to the sacraments after some months of penance. Make the best out of your state today.
Bible Reading: Nah 1:12-15.
Thought for today: Are you under any yoke?
Let us pray: God, help us to be free from every yoke of sin – Amen.
Saint Ambrose – Pray for us.
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