Joy in waiting and anticipation Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Hedglen   
Sunday, Dec.11, 2016

Third Sunday
of Advent

Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10
Psalm 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

While I was studying for my degree in theology, a professor told us: "The secret to joy is waiting." I had never considered waiting as criteria for joy. I had always thought of joy as something experienced in the moment at some event or in a person or thing. But as he expounded on this concept, I was reminded of my grandmother and finally understood the connection between joy and waiting.

There were four children in my family for 12 years and then Matthew came along. I was 15 when this happened. Growing up, I was not blessed to live in the same city as my grandmother so anytime we got to see her was a big deal. When Matthew was born, we found out that Grandma was coming to stay with us for a few months to help around the house. The excitement and anticipation was overwhelming for all of us.

You see, Grandma coming meant homemade bread, cookies, jam, and on and on. I am sure my mother was excited for other reasons, but to a 15-year-old, food was pretty important. Not only did Grandma make homemade bread, but she always "accidentally" made too much dough and would use the leftovers for cinnamon rolls.

As this expectancy swirled in my mind, the days, hours and minutes of waiting for Grandma to come seemed merciless. But finally she arrived and oh, the joy that filled my heart (and stomach).

This week's readings tell of the preeminent experience of waiting and joy. In Isaiah we hear the prophecy about the good things that will occur when the Messiah comes. The Letter of James exhorts us to have patience, and the Gospel reveals that Jesus is the long awaited fulfillment of the prophecy.

The Israelites had waited centuries for the promised Messiah and he came. Now, we, the pilgrim church, await the second coming of Jesus. We are in the days between the promise and the fulfillment, but even as we wait, we encounter moments of joy as we each experience small morsels of the coming of Jesus daily in our hearts.

Yes, the secret to joy is waiting, but there is joy, too, in the anticipation.

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: December 2016 Print E-mail
December Universal Intention

End to Child-Soldiers

That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.

December Evangelization Intention

That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2016.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Friday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 5
Ascension Thursday
Monday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Tuesday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Thursday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Sunday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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