Perhaps if you’re like me, you spend time each day waiting for what is to come.
Sometimes the anticipation fills me with an expectant joy for the coming of a new grandchild, time with a friend, my warm bed at the end of a long day, or the start of college football season, just to name a few. Other times I am filled with anxiety or fear as I await possible illness, societal chaos, future suffering, and things outside my control.
To be honest, most of my anticipation, whether wonderful or fearful, revolves around my earthly life, which is why I need the liturgical season of Advent. Its purpose isn’t to give us more time to shop, decorate, bake, or celebrate.
It is intended to redirect our gaze heavenward and help us remember the terrifying and awesome reality that Christ will come again as Judge, and everything we have done in this life will be revealed.
In today’s reading from 2 Peter 3:8-11, Saint Peter wants to prepare us for the Day of the Lord by helping us to see the Father’s heart for His children. Often if I fail to keep a promise, it’s because I forget, or speak hastily, half-intending to follow through. But God is not forgetful, fickle, or tardy; He has pledged His return, and He cannot revoke His promise. This time of waiting—which seems like a very long delay—is mercifully intended to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Our anticipation of earthly things is just a shadowy reminder that we have been created with a longing for an eternal fulfillment of all our desires. May John the Baptist's cry: “Prepare the way of the Lord,” fill us with expectant joy, and remind us that today we can hasten His return.
Let us eagerly await, prepare, and pray for His coming, because ready or not, He will come!