FIRST READING   
The Lord is strong in power and gives power to the faint.
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 40:25-31)

To whom will you compare me, that I should be like him? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm103:1-2.3-4.8 and 10(R. 1a)
R/. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all within me, his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and never forget all his benefits. R.

It is the Lord who forgives all your sins,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with mercy and compassion. R.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins,
Nor repay us according to our faults. R.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. Alleluia. Behold, the Lord is coming to save his people; blessed are those who are ready to meet him. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
“Come to me, all who labour.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 11:28-30)

At that time: Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labour 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.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection  

Having spent a long time in exile amidst disappointments and pain, and of course, possibly with a feeling of abandonment by God, it would need extra grace for the Israelites to be convinced again that God cares for them. Isaiah tried to do this by pointing to the fact that God’s plan may not be very evident to man at the beginning, yet, it pays to trust and wait on him.

Like the Israelites, we have, obviously encountered life situations which keep us wondering: “where is God?” Even in those situations, God keeps telling us, “I know what plans I have for you… plans for peace and not for disaster, plans to give you hope and a future. When you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:11-12).  May the Lord strengthen you when the troubles of the world are trying to weigh you down so that you may cherish, in this life, the experience of serving him, and in the next, eternal life. Amen

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