Waiting can be frustrating, annoying, even infuriating but the way in which we wait for things says a great deal about the person we are. Think of the last time you waited in line for something. What did you do or say? How did the waiting affect your mood or your interaction with the people around you?
This Sunday, we begin the Season of Advent, the liturgical season of watching and waiting. We begin in an unusual way this year by welcoming our new Missal in the English speaking world (for which we have been waiting for about 20 years). But like every Advent, the focus is on waiting. We don’t jump right to Christmas, department store decorations notwithstanding. There is value in waiting. A child is not born the day after conception. There is value in that time in the womb, not just for the growth and development of the child but for the bonding that occurs between parents and their new child. The final exam is not given on the first day of class. The teacher and students need to cover the course material so that the final can have meaning. There is always a value in waiting, even if it is sometimes difficult to understand.
Our focus word for the four weeks beginning last week is the word “Peace”. Peace is the object of patient waiting. God could have sent Jesus to save humankind the day after they were kicked out of Eden. But God knew that we would not understand the Peace he means for us unless we learned to wait. And so, we celebrate this season of waiting, hoping that the Peace of Christ might overwhelm the violence and disparity that we experience around us.
The line starts here. May our waiting bring us Peace.