By Father John Donovan/ SUN contributing writer
Patience is a virtue; a virtue with which I generally have not been blessed. I find especially when I am driving I have begun to wave to people, not with just a polite nod as if to salute, but rather with both hands as if I was shooing flies away from a picnic. I slip into the fantasy of the absurd. I imagine that like the cartoons, I could press a button and a giant robotic hand extends out, holds the slowpoke, while a giant boot extends and halls off and kicking the vehicle right in the tailpipe and out of my way.
With that said, Advent is obviously a challenge. Although I may think I am in a hurry most times, I am not one to read the last page of the book. I do believe that like Advent, we need to have the foundation and the buildup before reaching the crux of the plot. However, I have read this book before. What build-up or surprise could be left?
That is the thing with surprises, by their nature they are unexpected. Although I know to expect certain social obligations at this time of year, shopping and the likes, I find that detracts from the season. The greatest surprises have come in this season not wrapped in packages but the words or gestures of another. Although in the midst of the Christmas season we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, is not the purpose of this time to experience an epiphany? Is not our preparation, our waiting, one of recognizing the Incarnation, Christ in our midst?
We are familiar with the feasts; we need to be equally, if not more so, familiar with than the reality. Our preparation, our waiting entails having our lives in order in the midst of chaotic calendars. Order in the sense of understanding where God is leading us to be of service to one another, to our world. It is not a matter of waiting for Christmas Day and having a great revelation, but rather waiting to be able to respond with enthusiasm for we understand and recognize what God asks of us. It is preparing to take the leap to act with compassion, mercy and a commitment of faith.
Are there people around you who need your assistance in that preparation and waiting? Have you asked the simple question of someone you see discerning the “what next” in their life, of “what are you waiting for?” Leap! Serve the Lord. Now! Everyday! We do not need to have the season to know the responsibility of being a faithful believer. Encourage especially the young towards service. Encourage them to consider priesthood or religious life. Will you be surprised if they say yes? What are you waiting for? Shoo!