Like a parent, God reminds us to be patient
A Reflection for Sunday of the Third Week of Advent
You can find today’s readings here.
Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord. (Jas 5:7)
This Advent—one following a stressful midterm election, while news about climate change or gun violence hang over our heads, while we face bouts of winter illnesses and stress about holiday shopping, while even we Catholics argue among ourselves—it is easy to be tempted to lose heart rather than wait in joyful hope. Often, I feel like one of my children, when they are overtired or overwhelmed: I simply want a quick fix to whatever it is that is irking me. And I want it NOW.
Perhaps this tendency toward immediate gratification is why today’s readings seem to speak to us, at times, in the way a parent speaks to a child. These Advent readings remind us that, as we wait for the Christ child to arrive, as we pray for and work toward a better world, though we may have righteous anger or deep sadness, we should not be wailing about like babies: “Make your hearts firm,” we are told. And of course this is possible only with the foundational knowledge that Christ’s Kingdom will come, although slowly at times, and we must continue to strive to build it here on earth.
Through every age, we are God’s children and, like any parent, God offers many, many reminders to his children about how to behave in today’s readings. Over and over God tells us: Be patient. Be strong; fear not. Be patient. Do not complain. Follow good examples. Oh, and be patient. Hold fast to a future of “abundant flowers” and “joyful song” and “splendor” and “vindication: and “everlasting joy.”
I can’t wait.
Get to know Kerry Weber, executive editor
Favorite Advent or Christmas themed art?
This year, I’ve loved rewatching some Christmas classics with my children, especially, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Favorite Christmas tradition?
One favorite is more of an Advent tradition: celebrating St. Nicholas Day. My children are thrilled to find treats in their stockings on the morning of Dec. 6.
What project (article, podcast, video, etc.) are you most proud to have worked on this year at America?Our interview with Pope Francis tops my list this year.
Favorite Christmas recipe?
Lately, I like making these little meringues for our family gatherings.