What are we waiting for?

This is a busy time of year. I know this is not any sort of new news. You are probably wishing that we had a few hours or days to relive the best moments of our summers, more time to catch up before fall programming is in full swing, and a few more catechists lined up to help us out.  Perhaps though, while we are in the midst of preparing for so much, you still find yourself (im)patiently waiting for something.

No matter how long my to do list is, I find that I still master the art of impatiently waiting for something to come in my life. It can be something small like a book I ordered in the mail or something larger like direction from the Lord on where to take a big project. Whichever form the waiting takes, I am not a fan of it. Mostly because I am so, so bad at it. Reflecting on this weakness, I took a few moments to seek some advice from our Holy Father on the topic. (This took the form of a handy google search through his writings on the theme of waiting. If you’re not sure how to do this yourself, watch the blog later this week for a demonstration!)

And, I found something beautiful. Take a moment to read.

Expectation or waiting is a dimension that flows through our whole personal, family and social existence. Expectation is present in thousands of situations, from the smallest and most banal to the most important that involve us completely and in our depths. Among these, let us think of waiting for a child, on the part of a husband and wife; of waiting for a relative or friend who is coming from far away to visit us; let us think, for a young person, of waiting to know his results in a crucially important examination or of the outcome of a job interview; in emotional relationships, of waiting to meet the beloved, of waiting for the answer to a letter, or for the acceptance of forgiveness…. One could say that man is alive as long as he waits, as long as hope is alive in his heart. And from his expectations man recognizes himself: our moral and spiritual “stature” can be measured by what we wait for, by what we hope for.

Every one of us, therefore, can ask himself: What am I waiting for? What, at this moment of my life, does my heart long for? And this same question can be posed at the level of the family, of the community, of the nation. What are we waiting for together? What unites our aspirations, what brings them together? In the time before Jesus’ birth the expectation of the Messiah was very strong in Israel – that is, the expectation of an Anointed one, a descendent of King David, who would at last set the people free from every form of moral and political slavery and find the Kingdom of God. But no one would ever have imagined that the Messiah could be born of a humble girl like Mary, the betrothed of a righteous man, Joseph. Nor would she have ever thought of it, and yet in her heart the expectation of the Savior was so great, her faith and hope were so ardent, that he was able to find in her a worthy mother. Moreover, God himself had prepared her before time. There is a mysterious correspondence between the waiting of God and that of Mary, the creature “full of grace”, totally transparent to the loving plan of the Most High. Let us learn from her, the Woman of Advent, how to live our daily actions with a new spirit, with the feeling of profound expectation that only the coming of God can fulfill. (Angelus, 11/28/10)

Mary, you really are the model of holiness.  In the midst of this busy season, if you find yourself waiting, go ahead and practice holy, Marian patience with me. Like Pope Benedict encouraged, try living out your daily actions with that new spirit, one filled with the feeling of profound expectation that only the coming of God can fulfill.

Friends, you are in my prayers.

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