Sunday, November 30, 2014

First Sunday of Advent: How Do I Wait?

“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for, such as they had not heard of from of old. No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him.” – Is 63:19; 64:2-3

Advent is known as a season of waiting. Waiting for God to perform “such deeds” as rendering heavens and quaking mountains. Waiting for God to do greater things in our lives, like curing our sick relatives, reforming immigrant laws, or narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. Waiting for “ordinary” longings to be fulfilled, like waiting for a job, for the doctor, for a pregnancy, for improved relationships, for Mister or Miss Right, etc.

As Christians, we are told to wait with patient hope and trust.

Yet, I find myself harboring attitudes to the contrary. I find myself impatient, looking for immediate results, efficiency, and productivity. I want to feast before fasting, to arrive at the destination without undergoing the journey, to run away from experiencing “the anxiety of feeling myself in suspense and incomplete,” to act before waiting for God’s response.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus emphasizes the need for watchfulness, which includes an honest reflection on “How do I wait?” He invites me to genuinely look at how I am living the present moment and welcoming God-with-us, how I make space for the Spirit to work (or not), how I allow or hinder the seeds of grace to grow. I find myself struggling to embrace an attitude of wholehearted “yes” or receptivity.

What if this Advent Season is an opportunity for you and I to begin where we are and grow in willingness to wait with greater hope and trust?

Lord, help me to genuinely look at how I wait … for you … for other longings in my life.