I’ve never been good at waiting. Literally never, as evidenced by the circumstances of my birth. Because my mother had experienced lightning fast deliveries of my older brother and sister, she was admitted to the hospital the day before my due date, December 8th. The nuns who cared for her at the Catholic hospital were very excited that I would be born on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Except I had other ideas. Mom went into labor on the 7th, causing the sisters to fret: “You can’t have the baby today! Tell the baby to wait!” Instead of being born on a glorious holy day, I was born on Pearl Harbor Day. The Day that Lives in Infamy.
Advent is a season of waiting, and of watchfulness. Neither of these come naturally to me. A look at Advent saints can provide some inspiration.
Mother Mary, the Patroness of Advent, knows how to wait and to watch. She spend her life on earth with a watchful eye on Jesus. She pondered. She guarded. She paid attention to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to the needs of those around her. Upon conceiving Jesus, she went in haste to assist Elizabeth. She didn’t wait until His birth to bring Jesus to those in need.
Elizabeth waited. She waited for quite a long time for God to see fit to grant her petition for a child. She was well past childbearing age, and had lived under the reproach of childlessness for many years. When conception seemed impossible, the Angel Gabriel came to announce that she would become a mother. Motherhood at an age when most women are grandmothers, or even great grandmothers. She received with joy the news that would cause alarm in any elderly woman.
Zechariah waited. He too felt the reproach that accompanied a childless couple. When the Angel Gabriel announced that his elderly wife would conceive, he doubted the prediction. Understandably. So he was struck mute until his son’s birth, when he named the child John as per the angel’s orders. That would have been a long, silent nine month wait.
Joseph waited. Rather than divorcing Mary as he was first want to do, he waited for God’s word. It came to him in a dream that he was to receive Mary into his home and raise Jesus as his son. His was a watchful, attentive waiting.
As we travel through the Advent season, we are called to watch and wait. We are to ignore the distractions of the holiday mania and be attentive to the spiritual. Advent is about the future, while we prepare for Jesus’ coming in our present lives. We must pay attention to His daily promptings and to the needs of others.
26 Days of Advent Inspirations
Advent for an Autistic Child
“Surprise! I’m Pregnant!”
Legacy of Life, paying attention to women in need http://www.legacyoflifefoundation.org/
December must be the longest month ever. It’s so hard to wait when you know there will be presents at the end. But you can still have some fun while you wait by making Jesus a comfortable bed for Christmas day. Jesus was born in a shed, you know, because no one had room for Him. His first mattress was straw. Advent is a time to get ready for Jesus, to spiritually prepare for His coming. When we do something kind for someone, or give something up, we open our hearts to make room for Him. You can make room for Him by doing some small act of kindness, then putting a piece of straw in his manger. Day by day, the pieces of straw will accumulate as you do more good deeds. Then on Christmas morning, when you put the baby in the manger, he’ll have a comfy bed.