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Bridge Over Troubled Water

December 11, 2013



“Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the old Simon and Garfunkel song.  That is what kept coming to me as I studied today’s readings.  “When you’re weary, feeling low.  When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all.  I’m on your side.”  God is the One who dries our tears and lightens our load when the world becomes just too much to bear.  Too often in life we convince ourselves that we have to be the mule – that we alone have to shoulder the heavy yoke and drag ourselves, our families, our co-workers and our community uphill.  These readings remind us that we are not alone.  That God stands at our side, ready to take the lion’s share of our burden … if only we open our hearts and let him.


Thought Questions


How can I take my mind off the isolated and powerless “me” and put it on the empowered “we” of God With Us.

Today I will force myself not to look down at the hard road ahead of me, but up at the stars above me – and know that I am never alone.




God, give me the wisdom to see You in the world around me.  Give me the humility to know that I cannot solve every problem and bear every burden myself.  And give me the hope in you to renew my strength, so that I might put out wings like eagles.


By Tony Phelan





Reading 1IS 40:25-31


To whom can you liken me as an equal?
says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
and see who has created these things:
He leads out their army and numbers them,
calling them all by name.
By his great might and the strength of his power
not one of them is missing!
Why, O Jacob, do you say,
and declare, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?

Do you not know
or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary,
and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youths stagger and fall,
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles’ wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.


Responsorial Psalm PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 AND 10


R.  O bless the Lord, my soul!

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. 

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.

Gospel MT 11:28-30


Jesus said to the crowds:
“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.”

Tags: advent retreat, advent, online advent retreat, burden, yoke, mule, bridge over troubled water, drying tears, tears, eyes, wisdom, humility


Sr. Karen  |  Georgia  |  December 12, 2013  |  2:55 PM

Sr. Karen  |  Georgia  |  December 12, 2013  |  2:54 PM

Thank you for the image tony. One of my favorite songs that reminds me god really is in charge

Teresa  |  Whittier  |  December 11, 2013  |  11:40 PM

I have always loved this song...."Bridge Over Troubled Waters" and found these words and the scripture passages to be a powerful  reminder to me that I am not in charge!!   Thanks to Our God I can let go and leave things to Him.  What a blessing.    Thank you, Tony, for this wonderful message of comfort.

Fr. Bill  |  LA  |  December 11, 2013  |  6:05 PM

"Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things: He leads out their army and numbers them,calling them all by name." When things get overwhelming, the Prophet asks us to go outside and look up into the night sky, and look at the grandeur of all that is, and simple put our trust in the One Who designed it all. If He could do all that, He is certainly able to handle my small life. And, Christ, senses the same truth--that all who wend their way to God, find rest for their souls. May it be so for each of us in this retreat this year. Thanks, Tony, for stressing God's strengthening, comforting Presence in our lives. I needed to hear that, today.

Michelle  |  .  |  December 11, 2013  |  9:27 AM

Very nice reflection. I'm reminded of a quote from a televangelist. instead of focusing on how big our problems are continued to say how big our God is. 

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