The prayerful liturgy of Advent brings us to a waiting-a holy expectation that seemingly underestimates or even suspends that which we anticipate. Lengthening nights of darkness bring us to a sense of peace as the stars strive across the sky, moving constellations and turning our gaze heavenward. Geese puncture the purple skies of silence reminding us of another season’s end till we respond in kind and begin to take stock of our lives. We tend what has satisfied or get snagged by that which has not fit our criteria and so we ponder the more or less of things. Led to another mark in time, to another juncture in our histories, we look at length to all that has transpired and yet dare to gaze into the next movement of the heavens.
We wait. At times we feel relegated to Advent’s demand for patience, trust and formidable hiddeness. We wait for definite things –we wait for the change of seasons, the changes in people and the end of war; we wait for stocks to rise and our debts to fall; we wait for results and anticipate more of one thing while we hope for less of another. We are all too easily lost in that existential longing for the “I do not know what” part of our lives that hears the sirens’ endless song of unfulfilled desire. A people in need of saving, we are scattered in our confusion and we pray for light in the dark.
What challenge is there in the peace of Advent? What we demand of heaven may be in this holy waiting time. Might we make it one of unfolding grace? Might we with Mary tend the Unborn with Its surprising conception? Can we give credence to Mystery and creation knowing only that all life, if authentic life, is of God? As our path passes through a darkened yet graced oblivion, can we trust that in this wait is our sanctification?
So we contemplate this burgeoning dark, a virginal womb. We wait in hope yet again for a holy birth, the begetting of a Holy Child. We wait at the juncture of prayer and desire for that which will teach us, for that which will become us: a Presence that will be our equanimity, our peaceful society, our abundant life and our Incarnate One.
Might we wait ourselves into the blessed realization that the Awaited is already here-in Love all along-waiting only for us? Acquiesce to Advent’s wait, this prelude to a Father’s Love Begotten. Much of life eludes us. Love will not.
Your light will come, Jerusalem; the Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty.