The weeks before Christmas overflow with reasons to be joyful. Though I certainly savor the wonderful festivities, a few years ago, my dad died on December 23. So each year at Christmastime, I experience some grief.

I suspect I am not alone in this. While some of us grieve losses, others struggle to love ourselves. Some of us carry physical or mental health burdens, while others deal with broken relationships. Violence, racism, and conflict in our world weigh all of us down.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus doesn’t tell us to grin and bear it because it’s Christmas! Rather, he invites us to bring our burdens to him and to bask in the comfort he offers our weary souls. He shares with us the hope of the Incarnation.

What burdens do I need to share with Jesus this Advent? Do I know anyone who needs special care this holiday season?

—Katie Davis is a former member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and JVC Magis currently working as a Chaplain and Religious Studies teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.  She serves on the Advisory Board for Jesuit Connections in Chicago and the Chicago Women’s Team for the Ignatian Spirituality Project.




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