Pondering for Sunday, December 11, 2022

Eucharistic Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent: Year A

Isaiah 35:1-10;   Psalm 146:4-9;   James 5:7-10;  Matthew 11:2-11:

“When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”” (Matthew 11:2 -3)

Waiting is an art.  Today we should be so adapt at it. We wait for everything; we wait for our turn in various lines at checkout counters or bank teller windows; we wait in traffic, we wait for someone to finally make it to a meeting that was supposed to start 10 minutes ago.  Waiting is both active and challenging.   We can’t stop being because we have to wait.  We must live through it.  We can try to distract ourselves while waiting, like playing with our phones, but it still means we are not there yet, the message we give to the impatient kids in the back seat.

Our Lord Jesus assures the disciples of John the Baptist that their wait and ours is over, at least for the initial coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. But it seems that John had such developed waiting skills that he was willing to keep waiting if Jesus was not the one.  For him it was a way of life. On this third Sunday of Advent, we may even learn of the joy of waiting as we light the pink or rose-colored candle on the Advent Wreath.  I think there was some joy in it for John. He loved waiting so much he wanted to know if he could wait still further.  And I think it should be this way for us as well.  In Chapter 5 of the Reading for James we are asked to wait as the farmer waits in anticipation for the rain.

 “Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (James 5:7 – 8)

Yes, Jesus’ first appearance was the early rains.  His second coming will be the late rains. We need to hone our waiting skills so that we too are comfortable, even joyfully waiting. We need to strengthen our hearts for the coming of the late rains. 

We should not let our waiting make us expect certain looks or human signs for the prophet of God or the coming of the Lord.  A broken reed, or someone dressed for success may not be the sign God is sending. We are created to be a people of patience. Which means we are a people gifted with the art of waiting.  I really have more to say, but let’s wait!

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine, Iran and China.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and to serve, and then, to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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