The WORD in other words (2021) by – Fr. Raymun J. Festin, SVD (Rome)
December 21 / Octave before Christmas
Advent is a joyful season of waiting for Jesus’ birth.
The act of waiting is an ordinary fact of human experience. We patiently wait for our turn to buy tickets. We anxiously wait for the time of exams. We edgily wait for the debtor to pay us his/her debt. We happily wait for a returning loved one to come out of the airport lobby.
The Blessed Mother’s life was one of waiting. Before the Annunciation, she waited for her wedding to Joseph, which did not materialize. When she was in the house of Zechariah, she joined her cousin Elizabeth in waiting for the birth of John. During her pregnancy, Mary eagerly waited for nine months for the birth of her firstborn Son—as any other expectant mother does. After the Presentation, she anxiously waited for the moment to find her lost Son. In Nazareth, Mary tenderly watched and waited for Jesus to grow and mature in wisdom and strength. When Jesus left Nazareth, and she was left alone in the house, perhaps she also waited for the moment when her Son would come and visit her.
Mary’s kind of waiting was one of hope that everything would be fine in God’s time and of trust for the time when God’s promise would be fulfilled.
Listening and waiting in prayerful silence. That’s Mary’s way of being, her spirituality of simplicity.
May we learn from the Blessed Mother who knew how to wait in faith and prayer. She believed because she listened to God’s Word and waited in prayerful silence.
In the end, her waiting was rewarded with Easter joy. On Easter night, after her Son’s death, she did not sleep, just like in the two previous nights. She was on vigil, waiting.