Thoughts on Advent

Father Tom Weber gave this homily during Advent one year. I like the twist at the end.

A couple of months ago, I went over to the Department of Motor Vehicles bureau in Mayfield Heights. I took a seat along the wall and after a while, a clerk asked me, “What are you waiting for?” I said I needed the sticker for my license plate and she directed me to the proper clerk.

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving on I-271 Northbound when I heard an unusual sound. Within a few seconds I became aware that I had blown out a tire while driving 60 MPH. I was able to pull off the highway and within a few minutes I called for roadside assistance on my cell phone. A few minutes later, a police car pulled up behind me and the officer approached me and asked, “What are you waiting for?” I told him roadside assistance was coming soon. He wished me well and went on his way.

This past Thursday I received a call from a parishioner who told me she was thinking about having her baby baptized but was hesitant to call. After I reassured her a bit, I asked her, “What are you waiting for?” Without much hesitation she replied, “Well, first of all, I’m waiting for the baby to be born! It’s due in February.” After commending her for being so prepared and efficient, we made the arrangements…as far as we could!

Three different settings — the license bureau, the interstate and a new mom — THREE different settings, but the same ONE question…..”What are you waiting for?”

As we begin the liturgical season of Advent, marking a new year of God’s good grace, “What are you waiting for?” is the question of the day, the week, and the month.

Advent, of course, is our spiritual “getting ready” for Christmas. We try to squash into four weeks all the hoping, longing, preparing…all the waiting of the Chosen People of Israel, our older siblings in the household of the faith.

During these next four precious weeks, it’s really not so much WHAT are we waiting for but rather WHO are we waiting for…

As Catholic Christians, we are waiting for Jesus….

We wait…. for His grace and mercy, sure to come;

…We wait…. for Him to answer our prayers, sure that He will, but unsure about when, where, or how;

…We wait…. for reasons to explain suffering, struggle, and worries;

…We wait…. for Him to call us to be with Him for all eternity.

And, lest we forget, the LORD waits for US, also!

…Jesus waits…. for us to open up to His grace and mercy;

…Jesus waits… for us to admit that, as a matter of fact, we DO need a Savior!

…Jesus waits…. for us to admit that He is the answer to every important question we ask as we make our pilgrim journey of faith through life.

Yes, the question really is WHO are we waiting for? We are waiting for Jesus…and He will come!

It is in the waiting that we learn the important — and difficult — virtue of patience.

And deep down inside, cradled within the soul of each of us, is again an empty manger bed where the Son of God wants to be reborn. Christmas can do that.

So, with Christians around the world, we begin this New Year by boldly crying out: “Come, Lord Jesus!” And please, do not delay!

A blessed Advent!

• More than ever we need the coming of Jesus and his kingdom of peace and justice in this “weary world.” What are you doing to make these Advent weeks special? May the Prince of Peace reign in your heart!

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