“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” – Mt. 11:28-30

Until this year, I had never participated in the holiest of Thanksgiving traditions…  Black Friday.

Why is that I never participated beforehand?  

Simple. I’m a hater. And I do what haters do: I hate.

I hate shopping without knowing what I’m going to get. I hate waiting in them long lines. I hate crowds doing their best to fight each other to be the first to get something.

So why did I go this year to Black Friday? A new way, more accessible to get past the burdensome lines, to get what I wanted. And this new way was called online shopping.

And, as crazy as it sounds, this may be what Advent is about. You see, God knew there were things that were getting in our way, too heavy, that burdened us too much. We were doing our best to just get something more, to connect with something deeper. However, sometimes we ended up fighting with each other to get this thing. Sometimes, we lost sight of God, wondering like the first reading, if God hides His ways from us, if He disregards us. But, in this season of Advent, He reminds us that He makes a new way... more accessible. An easier yoke. A lighter burden. To get what we truly want. A deeper relationship with God. And this new way was called Jesus.

A new way so that that we become less of haters and more of lovers. To make our own burdens light as well as those of others. To help each other grow deeper in relationship with God and with others. Jesus - the real reason for our thanksgiving tradition - provides this new way for us. Not just during Black Friday, not just during Advent. But on every day of our lives.

Eddie Ngo SJ