Welcome to Advent! Happy New Liturgical Year.
Advent is a time of waiting. I hate to wait, I am impatient and to me “wait” is a four-letter word. Perhaps instead of waiting, a better way to look at Advent is “anticipation,” “expectation,” and “longing.” Obviously, we are anticipating Christmas - it will be here before you know it! There is a bigger and deeper dimension to our waiting as we are also looking forward to the Second Coming of Christ. It has been so long, some two thousand years, since Jesus’ first coming among us as a baby in Bethlehem that we have largely lost any sense of expectation, of longing, of anticipating Jesus Christ’s return in glory. It just doesn’t seem very urgent.
Yet every Sunday in the Creed we profess our faith that Jesus, Who has “ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.” After all this time, do we expect that the Second Coming will occur in our lifetime? I don’t. There is still so much to be sorted out, so much work for the Church to do on earth, so many issues still to be resolved, that to suddenly have Jesus appear and bring it all to an abrupt end seems like a hokey, deus ex machina, kind of solution.
Perhaps a better model for our Advent anticipation is pregnant Mary, waiting with expectation, and excitement, perhaps some trepidation, for the birth of her miraculous child. We also await the coming of God’s Kingdom with hope and expectation, and perhaps some trepidation, more and more fully into our own lives. As we look forward to celebrating Christmas we should be looking forward to the image of the Christ Child born more and more really and actually in our lives. That Christ may live in us by our actions, our desires, our thoughts, our hopes, our very lives. That is something worth waiting for!
P.S. Thank you to all who helped us celebrate Fr. Jim Wiesner, CSP, on the 10th Anniversary of his passing on Nov. 18! I am sure I am missing a few names but special thanks to Julie & Terry Lyons, Martha Schroeder, Kristyn Rankin and family, Lisa Lucero, Colleen Debner, Barbara Kennedy and family, Jack & Patti Gullahorn, Laurie Mechler, Angela Bauman, Dr. Andrea Pobanz, Danny & Mason Smith, Daniel Soto, the Parish Choir, the Knights of Columbus, Deacon John de la Garza, Fr. Jerry Tully, Fr. Tom Gibbons, Fr. Ed Koharchik, Fr. Larry Rice, Fr. Jimmy Hsu, Fr. John Duffy, Fr. Bruce Nieli, Fr. Rich Andre, and everyone who volunteered to assist with and donate to the mass and the reception!