Advent, Waiting, and Pregnancy
Ben spoke on Advent, waiting, and being pregnant. His family has just welcomed their long awaited first-born son, Ben Jr. (most anxiously awaited by his four big sisters!), and he shared with us what the wait was like, especially for the little girls. He told us that towards the end there were tears on a regular basis because little brother was not here yet. (Aww…)
After painting this precious picture of his family waiting with so much anticipation for the new little brother, he drew a beautiful parallel between it and Advent / waiting for Christmas, and waiting in general.
This is the period of preparation for Christmas that the Church has set aside for us. That’s exactly what it is – a time to prepare! The world has been celebrating Christmas since Thanksgiving, but the Church says, “Hold your horses. That baby ain’t born yet.” The Feast of the Annunciation was back in March… and Our Lady is still with Child! The Church announces to the world that Christ’s Mass is here (traditionally at Midnight Mass… Christ’s Mass… Christmas…), the world does not announce this to the Church. No, the Church isn’t trying to be a wet blanket, or steal the fun and parties… In her wisdom, she is making us wait – just like the nation of Israel had to wait for thousands of years for the Messiah the first time! Blessed Mary waited on Christ for nine months. The Church is only asking four weeks of us.
We know what’s coming, we know that Christ is on His way! He just isn’t HERE yet. Just like the Walther family wasn’t celebrating Ben Jr.’s birth the week before he was born, the Church is asking us to hang on, just a little bit longer, until Christ’s Mass, to blow the roof off in celebration. And guess what comes after Dec. 25? December 26th – the second day of Christ’s Mass!!! Then, Dec. 27th, the third day! And this goes for TWELVE days, until the feast of the Wise Men, Jan. 6th, Epiphany! That more than an entire week to party it up! I mean, it’s our King’s Birthday! When the Church wants to party, she knows how to make it happen!
Waiting in general ~
Ben also talked about how his family had to wait for Ben Jr., and there was nothing Mrs. Walther could do to speed up (or slow down) his coming! All she could do was take care of herself, and wait. And wait. And wait. Wait until it was time.
Those of us who are young (and old(er), I would assume) sometimes feel we as if could write the book on waiting. It’s all we seem to be doing! Waiting to graduate, waiting to find a major, waiting to graduate (again!), waiting to know our vocations, waiting to get started on said vocation, waiting for this, waiting for that… It seems like life is just in a holding pattern. And there is nothing we can do but just take care of ourselves, and wait. But, we do know what is coming, just as the Blessed Mother knew Christ was coming! We can feel the growth and the movement, we experience the sleepless nights, the discomfort, the longing, just like she could, but the Child, the vocation, graduation, etc., is not HERE yet. But He (it) IS COMING! There WILL be a time when you can hold what you are waiting for in your arms, and make it your very own. That time will come! The Child will be born. Just wait. Take care of yourself, and wait.
A few hours after hearing Ben speak about this, I saw Mrs. Walther holding her baby boy. I cannot describe the love I saw on her face, and in her eyes, for son. You could just tell – she thought the wait, even the hard parts of it, were more than worth it.
When Christ’s Mass comes, as we rejoice in His birth, thank Him for the time to prepare. It’s the waiting and anticipation that makes the gift worth so much!