What I love about the blogosphere is the way we can touch and be touched by people we’ve never met and may never meet face to face–yet we can all help each other along our spiritual journeys. (I started to say “life journey,” because it’s not only religious blogs that challenge and shape my thinking, but everything I encounter online. But the simple fact is that for me, all journeying is spiritual journeying.) Last week in the course of visiting other people’s blogs for 7QTs, I came across a reflection on Advent that brought my full-speed-ahead to a dead halt. I asked Jason, of Pannoneappetit, if he would allow me to share it here:
Of all the figures in the Infancy Narratives, the one who resonates most with me is Simeon. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting… for years… for the promised Child Whom the Lord revealed that he (Simeon) would see. And then one day — Emmanuel appeared, and he held Him, blessed Him, and pronounced his terrible prophecy to our Lady (cf. Luke 2:22-38).
Waiting — in the digital age, what can be harder? Could I be like Simeon, waiting for seemingly endless years to see the Messiah, with death drawing ever closer? Today, we expect to click a button online, and voila! Something happens or appears instantaneously. “Yes, God, I’ll choose the ‘See the Messiah’ option; charge it to my credit card and make it snappy, since I’ve got a holiday party to attend this evening.”
But we forget that history stretches farther back than five minutes ago. Salvation history unfolds slowly over centuries, until, in the fullness of time, when God entered human history directly in the Second Person of the Trinity, in the truly new and radical event of the Incarnation. There are periods of preparation, sometimes centuries-long, before we are ready to behold the Messiah.
And Advent waiting is not passive. It is a time of waiting, yes, but also of preparation for the Lord’s Incarnation. It is a time of cleaning house, setting things in order, making the stable of the heart ready for the Lord to take His place therein.
To wait expectantly — not passively; to wait in humility — not trying to force my timetables or plans on God (as if I could)… to be more like Simeon this Advent, and beyond. May it be so for me.
(Jason’s original post may be found here. You should visit him. He shares recipes.)