Advent – A season of Waiting…
Last week I emphasized the preparing aspect of Advent, the weekend readings also showed it is a time of waiting. As in preparing, we don’t like waiting either. What is a season of Waiting? For one, our life is a season of waiting. We know we will die and we are waiting.
Usually we get frustrated at waiting. Little ones, and sometimes not so little ones, are always wondering, “How many days till Christmas?” or “How many days till school is out?” As I kid I would say, “I wish tomorrow was Christmas!” My dad would always say, never wish your life away. When we are in traffic, is it ever a good thing? Do we pick the longest line at the store? Not most of us, we don’t like to wait. Do we get frustrated at the commercials now on YouTube? I’ve wondered if they put them there just to get me to pay. Well, did they? I don’t observe most of us waiting well!
How do I get to head of the line?
Unfortunately, I think we are inclined to get frustrated at time spend waiting. I love to read. Before becoming pastor at St. Pius X, I was reading/listening too over 100 books a year. I did this by always having a book with me. In a doctors office, in line even, or even shopping, I could listen/read. I learned to make that time productive, but I don’t think that really captures what advent is about.
In business I would read lots of book about being productive and understanding people. I loved when Malcolm Gladwell would have a new book as his view on the word is simply amazing. Now I read for mostly fun and some Church stuff, but don’t read nearly enough. Part of the reason, is that I have taken my morning reading time and made it prayer time. Prayer for me helps me understand Advent.
When I take quiet time int he morning, I rarely have great revelations. Rarely does God clearly speak to me. By I start with a few intentions, a few always for St. Pius X and for those on my prayer list and then get quiet. I spend 15 to 20 minutes just in Gods presence keeping my mind clear for God to work. I see the results of my prayer throughout the day, or week. There are times that from the end of the Gospel to the time I start preaching, I have a different message than I prepared. When I trust that different message, it is much more amazing than what I had come up with on my own.
We are a people in waiting
From the Earliest Christians we are a people waiting for the second coming. It could be today. Our lives could end today. Waiting isn’t just the time before an event, it is a time of preparation. See last weeks blog. This time for us is to learn to use our time wisely. The Gospel is filled with stories of those waiting wisely and those not. The virgins as the wedding feast most recently.
So for Advent, how do we wait?
- What are we doing to evangelize?
- How are we spreading the word?
- Do our lives reflect Gospel values?
- Do all those in our lives know us as Christians?
Most of us when being honest can do better on all the above points. This is the season to make those evaluations, to really take this waiting time and make something off it.
The above is represented well in the phrase attributed, but not probably said by St. Francis