Waiting for Christ
As Roman Catholics, pressing on in our lives to uphold what was passed down from Jesus Christ Himself, we often must endure life and it’s many trials. But it is not patience that we employ but rather longanimity; for patience is far more to do with enduring suffering but longanimity refers to waiting with hope. This isn’t an earthly sort of hope, mind you; as if we are to hope that it doesn’t rain or hope we win the lottery. In the light of faith, hope corresponds to certainty or trust in what shall happen. For example, we believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and we also hold in this blessed hope of our resurrection, God willing, we carry our Cross diligently. But to obtain such a grace for longanimity we must exercise our will to trust God in all things. When you trust God like my children trust me, then all that is left is confidence. I say that because I equate a great deal of what I know to be a father to that of God the Almighty Father. Of course I know God is all perfect and holy to which I am not but strive to be as Christ commanded us to do (1 Peter 1:16). However, I see portions of God’s love and perfection within me when I perform my duty in life as a father; especially when it comes to trust in God. My daughter worries a great deal of what is to come… Christmas and what will happen on that day…her birthday and what she will get… tomorrow and what will she be doing or where will she be going, etc. She often comes to her father (me) to seek these answers and often she asks persistently but sometimes worded differently. And it seems most of the time she is not thoroughly pleased with my answers which often demands patience from her. This can sometimes worry her even more because she does not know or can make her mad because she demands to know or sometimes it breaks her heart because I do not fill her in fully on what is to happen purposely otherwise it will not help her when it is meant to be revealed. Does this not sound like God in our lives? Don’t we ask persistently often rewording the same petitions over and over? Aren’t we not fully satisfied with some of the answers? Especially the ones we have to wait for? Interesting that God revealed Himself as Abba Father (Abba = Daddy)… But eventually, my daughter trusts me and goes along with me until the day comes when all is revealed to her and then she is filled with joy for knowing and even happier because Daddy told her so.
It is true, we all have struggles in life. No more or less than anyone else. Money does not remove all stress nor does a pantry full of food and good things. These things come and go because essentially we cannot “live on bread alone but every word that comes from the mouth of God”. But just because we all suffer…does not mean we should not reveal our pain to others as if to burden one another but to recognize to each one, no matter what their trouble, is gravely intimidating to them. In other words, just because your suffering does not seem as great as mine, does not mean your sufferings are any less… because your pain is real to you. But thank God we have made it to this Advent season, that God gave us the grace to persevere to this day. The season of patience. The awaiting of the birth of the Messiah.
How many of us are still waiting? How many of us are looking afar as if searching for a ray of sunshine midst the black horizon? How many of us face trial after trial with seemingly no help and with little chance of any improvement? I tell you, that though the rain falls, it shall not rain forever. Just as man wandered the earth with no shepherd, came a night when goodness and joy took the form of a babe to lead us to salvation. Your sufferings are great but pray with me that graces abound even greater. For this is the season of hope and joyful expectation. Look upon the gentle face of the Child Jesus and let your worries dissolve in His eternal eyes. Lean on those of your friends and family, and confess your worries together so you may know what to offer God concerning your loved ones. Offer, first of all, peace to every person, even those whom you know hate you or what you stand for. For we were not placed here to reign as judges but to witness to the Truth. That Christ is the light of all men and though man did not know this light, and in many ways reject that light, let us all the more invite the light that is Christ into our lives to reflect His mildness, meekness, charity, hope, and faith. Await this season with joyful expectation of blessings and revelations.
Pray therefore, that you may be among the shepherds that worked diligently in the fields, to see the myriad of angels proclaiming His coming. Let it be so in your life. Amen