“We await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.” (2 Peter 3:14)
There is a difference between waiting and being idle. One act can have purpose; the other doesn’t. That’s an important lesson to keep in mind during the weeks of Advent because our souls need attention, too—just as much as our social calendars.
Right now we anticipate the arrival of the Christ Child, our Lord and Savior. Preparations abound in our homes but there are things we can do each day to make the waiting an act of spiritual fulfillment.
As part of your Advent practice of “waiting with purpose,” think about the one thing you want to grow in—not just in the weeks before Christmas but all year long. Maybe it’s patience or forgiveness. Perhaps it’s seeing the good in someone or a circumstance before (or instead of) focusing on the negative. Advent is a good time to make purposeful waiting an act of spiritual growth, realizing that God is already here to help.
Accepting the presence of God in our lives means we can never really fail. We just get better at reflecting the compassion of Our Lord. Pope Francis often reminds us that even before we seek Christ, he is present lifting us back up after we fall, and helping us grow stronger in faith. “Turn your heart to God,” is how our pontiff puts it, and be fulfilled.
Friend, as you prepare for the Christ Child, know that in the second week of Advent the Lord is already here… never late… always on time… available to comfort and reassure anytime and every time you pray. Knowing that will make waiting for Christmas Day truly a season of joy and fulfillment.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 1st Sunday
How long must we wait, O Lord,
for our prayer to be answered,
our hope fulfilled and
our dreams realized?
We await Your coming again
in glory even as Your people
awaited Your birth 2,000 years ago.
We long for Your peace, justice,
love and forgiveness more than
sentinels wait for the dawn.
Yet even in our waiting
grace and holiness abound
as you teach us the virtue
of patience and perseverance.
Come, Lord, abide and be with us
as we await the fullness of Your kingdom
when every tear will be wiped away
and every wound sanctified and healed
through Christ our Lord.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso