12.03.17: My soul in stillness waits
Homily from the 5:30 p.m., 7:30 and 9 a.m. Masses at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Crown Point, Ind.
It can be difficult for us to live in the stillness, life moving to a different rhythm.
We come to rely on certain rhythms. You go to Mass, take your seat. At exactly 7:30 a.m. a light will begin blinking on the choir loft, the cantor moves to the ambo, Roseanne begins playing, everyone is invited to enter the song, a server appears carrying the cross, followed by three more servers, a Deacon carrying the Book of Gospels, a priest, everybody bows, they venerate the altar, move to their seats, the music stops, sign of the cross, “The Lord be with you…”
We get used to our rhythms, and yet during this Advent season, we’re called to live life marching to a different drummer. Life takes on a new rhythm, it’s a little more contemplative, a little more reflective. It’s a time of preparation.
And so, we heed Mark’s words in our Gospel. We watch. We wait. But, we do not fall asleep. On the contrary, we awaken from the slumber of complacency. We awaken from the slumber of just going through the motions. We have to wake up. Christ is coming. We have to prepare a home for him.
And yet, the coming of Christ that we prepare for isn’t the coming of Christ in the manger. That happened, historically. God so loved the world that he gave us his son, entering into our lives by entering into our world. Through the incarnation, we know that God doesn’t desire a distant fear from us. He desires a relationship, a close, personal friendship.
God also comes into our lives in the here and now. Every day, God places people in your path for a reason. Every day, God allows you to enter into conversations, situations for a reason. God is in our midst right now. Entering into the stillness of Advent helps us better recognize him, it helps us better notice the signposts he places along our paths to let us know he’s always with us. It gives us those moments of encounter when in the stillness of our hearts, we can ask “What do you want of me, Lord?” It’s the stillness that gives us the courage to wait, to watch for the answer.
The sense of peace that comes from embracing the stillness of the season, that’s the joyful hope in which we wait. It allows us to more deeply contemplate the coming of the Lord – not just in the manger, but to see him in our daily living and anticipate him on that final day, when Christ our King, in beauty comes, And we his face shall see.
And so we wait, we watch, we wonder what that joyous encounter, the coming of Christ, how amazing that will be, to live so fully in the stillness of his presence.