May 25, 1994) Advent is the time of waiting. We wait for the second coming of Jesus. We wait for the celebration of the coming of Jesus as a child in Bethlehem. We wait for a new heaven and a new earth. We wait. Our Lady told us in this message of 1994 that she waits for us as well. She waits for our hearts to open to her messages. Out of love and respect and deep commitment to us, she waits. Today I want to share the Sunday Angelus greeting from Benedict XVI, translated for us by a friend. It is very beautiful and reveals something wonderful about waiting:
(Thanks to Bernard Gallagher)
November 30, 2010
On Sunday, 28 November, the first day of Advent, the Holy Father prayed the Angelus with the Faithful gathered in St Peter's Square. The following is a translation of the Pope's Address before the Angelus, which was given in Italian. Dear Brothers and Sisters!Today, the first Sunday of Advent, the Church begins a new liturgical year, a new journey of faith that, on the one hand, remembers the event of Jesus Christ and, on the other, opens herself toward her ultimate fulfillment. It is precisely in this double perspective that the season of Advent is situated, looking to the first coming of the Son of God, when he was born of the Virgin Mary, and to his glorious return, when he will come "to judge the living and the dead", as we say in the Creed. I would like to now briefly focus on this suggestive theme of "waiting", for it touches upon a profoundly human aspect in which the faith becomes, so to speak, completely one with our flesh and our heart. Expectation- waiting - is a dimension that flows through our whole personal, familial and social existence. Expectation is present in a thousand situations, from the smallest and most banal to the most important. It draws us in completely and in the deepest way. Among these, we think of a husband and wife waiting for a child, or waiting for a relative or friend who is coming from far away to visit; we think of a young person waiting to know his grade on a big exam or the outcome of a job interview; in romantic relationships, waiting to meet the beloved, for an answer to a letter, or waiting to receive forgiveness. One could say that man is alive so long as he waits, so long as hope is alive in his heart. And from his waiting, a man realizes: our moral and spiritual "stature" can be measured by that which we wait for, by that which we hope for. Every one of us, therefore, especially in this Season which prepares us for Christmas, can ask himself: What am I waiting for? For what, in this moment of my life, does my heart long? And this same question can be posed at the level of the family, of the community, of the nation. What are we waiting for together? What unites our aspirations, what do we have in common? In the time before Jesus' birth the expectation of the Messiah was very strong in Israel - that is, the expectation of an Anointed one, a descendent of King David, who would finally set the people free from every moral and political slavery and found the Kingdom of God. But no one would have imagined that the Messiah could be born of a humble girl like Mary, the betrothed of a righteous man, Joseph. Nor would she have thought of it, and yet in her heart the expectation of the Savior was so great, her faith and hope were so ardent, that He was able to find in her a worthy mother. Moreover, God himself had prepared her before time. There is a mysterious correspondence between the waiting of God and the waiting of Mary, the creature "full of grace" totally transparent to the loving plan of the Most High. Let us learn from her, the Lady of Advent, how to live with a new spirit in our daily gestures, with the feelings of profound expectation that only the coming of God can fulfill. Isn't this wonderful! To wait is an act of faith, an act of love, an act of supremely great beauty! Our Lady waited for the Messiah, the Father waited for Our Lady, Our Lady waits now for us to respond to her call, and we all wait for the coming of Jesus in glory! How beautiful is God!!! In Jesus and Mary!