Waiting is Not Enough

12-03-2017Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Advent always reminds me of how some people are early, some are on time and some are always late. Many people spend a great deal of time waiting for others. This Sunday we start a special period of time of waiting, the Season of Advent. Let us face it: we cannot solve the problem of people who are always late. For various reasons, they have a need to be always late. As a side note, it is revelatory that they do not miss their plane flights or Amtrak trains when they travel, but the rest of the world is always waiting for them. We know that Advent is the Church's time of vigilance and waiting. Let's take this Advent time and make it a time to be productively getting ready. Let's get ourselves ready for a very special coming. After all, as Christian believers, we really have nothing - absolutely nothing - better to do.

Inside our parish churches decorative elements have changed: we now use purple vestments and have an Advent wreath and candles. We, also, begin a new Liturgical Year. This year we use "B" Year Readings. Our readings this weekend actually continue the theme of the last few weeks, that of the "end times."

The prophet Isaiah, in addition to writing some of the most beautiful and inspiring sentences, also has some of the most courageous ones. Isaiah is quite bold and goes to the heart of the matter and is not afraid of taking even God to task. The prophet calls God to attention, reminding the Lord of the ancient covenants, and seeking divine intervention. Isaiah does not give up on God, yet he quickly moves on to us. In his exhortation to God is an urgent wake-up call for us, which is to remind us of our side of the covenant and goading us to both vigilance and flexibility. Isaiah reminds us to remember that our attitude toward the Lord's coming must be one of hope. God will come as a caring parent to us. We must be ready and anxious to be reshaped into the children of God. If we are watchful and get ourselves ready, just like clay is receptive to the potter - God's coming and meeting with us will indeed be veryjoyful.

Our Gospel increases greatly the calls for vigilance. Although Mark's words are words of warning, they are not meant to instill fear in us. Rather, Our Gospel writer encourages us to be watchful. Bear in mind that the Lord is coming at a time we least expect. Now is not the time to nap or sleep. We must, instead, be awake and ready for that coming by living vigilant lives. The theme of Advent makes Scripture commentators want to go on and on about waiting. So to spend all our time waiting is truly a waste. We must, in contrast, be active during this holy Season. Pay attention to the needs of others: the need for understanding, the need for empathy, the need for your attention. And also pay attention to yourself and your inner life. You know being active demands effort, paying heed, being watchful and vigilant. If we have to have a stance for Advent, let's not stand waiting. Be busy while waiting.

Thank You

During this season of the year many folks visit our cemetery to remember and pray for their beloved departed. Also, all through the year many folks "pay a visit" to their loved ones on anniversaries etc. to pray for them. Everyone who visits our cemetery always comments on well cared for and how beautiful our cemetery looks. Sandra and Thomas McDermott and Family have given beautiful signs and posts and also upgraded our fence in memory of their son TR McDermott. Their quiet generosity allows our cemetery to look very impressive. We thankthem for their kindness and thoughtfulness.