Waiting in the Season of Advent

2 December 2007 First Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 2, 1-5; Psalm 122; Rom 13, 11-14; Matthew 24, 37-44

In the first Sunday of Advent it is good to do a little introduction about the season. In terms of importance, the Sundays of Advent cannot be replaced even by a solemnity. So a solemnity falling on a Sunday is transferred either to the preceding Saturday or the following Monday. For example, if the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception falls on a Sunday --- December 8 on a Sunday --- then the celebration of the Solemnity will either be on the Saturday or the following Monday. The Season of Advent, as all the readings would illustrate, has a two-fold character. First, it is a season to prepare for Christmas when we remember the first coming of Christ. And second, the remembering directs our minds and hearts to await Christ’s second coming at the end of time (GNLYC 39). So, we will always hear the words, waiting and preparation at mass.

Today, I will just take the word, waiting. It is difficult for us to understand the people in the Old Testament who waited for years for the savior. So I would rather employ our experiences of waiting. And there are many. The terminally ill and the aged are waiting for their time. Families whose members died successively in a year or discovered a dark secret in their families are waiting for the pain to die down. Aspiring workers wait for job acceptance. Bar and board examinees wait for the results that would chart their future. Those who took the UPCAT and the ACET wait for the results around January and February next year. And lovers are waiting for the right time to get the ball rolling or to tie the knot. The list goes on and on and on. We are therefore people who wait.

Advent affirms the importance of waiting in our lives and therefore to appreciate this stage in our lives. And to me, Chapter 21 of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince,” tells us what waiting does to a relationship. The little Prince wanted to become friends with the fox, and the fox teaches the little Prince the process of ‘taming’ and agreed to see each other again the next day. But the fox suggested to be back at the same time of the day.

The fox said, “For instance, if you come at four in the afternoon, when three o’clock strikes I shall begin to feel happy. The closer our time approaches, the happier I shall feel.” For the time wasted on our friend makes our friendship important. In other words, the longer the wait, the more important the friend is.

The same thing with faith. Our minds and hearts eagerly awaits the coming of Christ in our lives. The longer one waits becomes proof of the importance of God.

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