..Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you,..

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Sometimes it seems that people are always waiting. The ancient Hebrews waited for a Savior to lead them home from exile; Mary and Joseph waited for the birth of Jesus, even as parents do today. Our dear neighbors in emerging countries still wait to be saved from the devastation of war, hunger and disease. And they, like we, hope that their children will have a healthy, happy future. It seems that the entire world waits – for peace, understanding, acceptance and love. We live in Advent, perhaps more than we realize.

Few of us are able to be saviors, but most of us try to save people in small ways. We save people when we provide food, shelter, and clothing, but most often we save each other with encouraging and affirming words. An embrace, a touch and a blessing help us feel understood and loved. Christ can be brought into life in the simplest of ways as our genuine love brings tiny bits of the Kingdom into birth.

The servants of the Master in today’s Gospel were waiting with similar longings. I suppose, like children, some of them might have feared being caught doing wrong, but I’d rather take a more positive view. These were mature people who were conscious of their failings, yet hoped that their Master, upon his return would find all going well.

…”Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways!”…

As we enter Advent – awaiting this year’s Celebration of the Birth of Jesus – let’s take the words of the Gospel to heart, and spend at least a little time in reflecting on what this time of waiting means to us. Let’s not procrastinate, and let’s not let our activities tire us to the point that the religious observance of Advent gets lost. We might ask ourselves: From what do we pray to be delivered? How can we help others? Can we help our children understand the significance of Advent and not allow it to get lost in the Christmas festivities? First things first. First a prayer-filled Advent, then a Glorious Christmas.


Dorothy A. Hathway, CSJA