The word “advent” is from the Latin word for “coming.” During this time of the year, we make time to focus on Christ’s coming—past, present and future.
- Past: We remember how He came humbly as a human baby in the Incarnation.
- Present: We remember how He comes to us through Word and Sacrament today.
- Future: We remember that He is coming again at the end of time!
We’re pretty spoiled these days, living in a world where we can quickly communicate with people on the other side of the world, warm our food, see our photos… We’re hardly used to waiting anymore! Waiting can be challenging. Yet through it, God has lessons for us to learn. He draws us closer to Himself while we wait.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Mary, the mother of Jesus, received almost unbelievable news! Though unmarried and a virgin, she would bear the Son of God. What was it like for her to wait those nine months? What must have gone through her mind? And more waiting would be in store for her… When Jesus was twelve, He was separated from His parents on a trip. How frantic she must have been as she waited for Him to be found! At the Miracle at Cana, we see that Mary knew Jesus could do anything when she asked Him to perform His first miracle and provide more wine when her friends ran out at a wedding celebration. Jesus Himself had been waiting until the right time. I can hardly imagine the agony Mary endured as her Son became more and more frequently under attack by the Jewish leaders… and finally was forced to suffer a cruel and unjust death. There she was, waiting at the cross as her dear Son died. What an amazing surprise it was for her to realize that He had risen from the dead! And after she watched Him ascend to heaven, she must have pondered His words: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
If I were Mary, I think there would have been many times when I was confused! How could this be God’s plan, for the Messiah to die? We often don’t understand what God’s plan and purpose are in various events. But we can trust Him to work things out. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us:“ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God’s plans for us include much more than a good life now… wine for a wedding feast, food that heats up quickly, the internet at our fingertips… God’s best plans for us include life forever through His Son Jesus Christ! “He desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”(I Timothy 2:4)
Like Mary, we can trust God’s plan and eagerly await the time when we will be with Him again.
Prayer: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to be our Savior from sin. Thank You for Your Word which reminds us of others who waited. And thank You for the assurance that You have a plan and we can trust You. Help us keep our eyes fixed on You for all our needs during this Advent season and always. Help us share the Good News with others as we wait for the final coming. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.