As we enter the Season of Advent, it strikes me that “Hope” and “waiting” are even more a part of our lives in these times. In the dark hours before dawn, I muse about waiting and hope in the season of Advent, I was pondering what is higher on my list – waiting for Christmas or waiting for a coronavirus vaccine, herd immunity and the return to normalcy. If I am honest, it is the latter. It feels like we are living in the time of Noah. We are not just waiting for the flood waters of illness to reside, but we are optimistically waiting now that the vaccines are on the horizon.
But while I am optimistic, am I hopeful? I know I am waiting, but am I hopeful? Are you?
Kerry Weber, an associate editor at America Magazine, a wife and mom, offered her thoughts on Hope. Her words are from a letter she and her husband wrote to her not-yet-born son on their hopes for his life in the Faith. As do all parents, they wait with expectation to see how this new life unfolds. They wrote:
“We hope that your faith inspires you to be just, loving, humble and merciful. We hope that your faith inspires you to encourage the church to be more just, more loving, more humble and more merciful.” Continue reading
We wait between the two earthquakes – the ones announcing the death of Jesus and his Resurrection
Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.* The earth quaked, rocks were split” (Mt 27:50-51)
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it (Mt 28:2)
Between the two earthquakes, there is the silent waiting of Holy Saturday. As Jesus lay in tomb, what was God doing?
As Jim Harnish notes: “Perhaps the silence of Saturday is the reminder that beneath the surface, God is still at work in every dark, deadly, lifeless place to break through the darkness and bring new life. The resurrection means that tomorrow is never just another day!”
There are lots of different ways to wait. Scripture has over 162 verses that describe all sorts and manners of waiting. I suspect you are familiar with a good portion of the different kinds of waiting – after all, we all wait. In the military, the common experience was to “hurry up and wait.” We all wait. It is a common experience, and yet there are differences in waiting. There is a difference between expectant, on the edge of your seat, waiting; the patient “it will happen in its own good time and there is nothing I can do about it” waiting; and the waiting of dread, tedium, and despair. I think our, “Are we ever gonna’ get there waiting,” because a flight to Europe can take 8+ hours, would fall on deaf ears for our ancestors who traveled months on boats to reach these distant shores. But things change, the world has sped up. Our culture demands fast food, fast cars, and fast answers. We are accustomed to having a world of information at our fingertips with laptops and smart phones. We expect pills that will immediately take the pain away…yesterday. We are not accustomed to waiting, and we do not like it. Continue reading
Three weeks ago, the first reading for the Sunday mass was Proverbs 31: 10-31, sometimes known as the “Ode to a Worthy Wife,” it describes a woman who is more valuable than pearls; lucky the one who entrusts their heart to her. The same weekend the gospel was the “Parable of the Talents.” I suspect the gospel was the focus of most homilists, as it was the focus of my homily. But the passage from Proverbs did not go unnoticed by me. The reading reminded me of my mom. Continue reading