FOR SATURDAY, ADVENT II
“What are you waiting for now?” by Mark Waddell, School for Ministry student; member of St. Augustine, Navarre
St. Augustine of Hippo is one of my personal favorite early church fathers. One reason is that throughout his life, he was constantly seeking. Seeking to perfect his understanding and his spirituality. The story of his conversion is a prime example. He had been reading, studying and discussing what we would call today Christian theology. In his book Confessions, he says he was alone contemplating when he heard a child’s voice say "take up and read.” He opened a book of St. Paul's writings to a random page and read from his letter to the Romans. That passage spoke to him and he saw clearly his path forward.
My story starts in 2003, I was in a hotel room in the small seaside town of Horafakia, Crete, working as a System Matter Expert in Submarine SONAR Systems. It had been a chilly, rainy couple of weeks but this Saturday was a clear, warm and incredibly beautiful day with a warm breeze blowing into the room from the Mediterranean. I had been reading about the conversion of St. Augustine and decided to give this a try myself so I opened the Bible at random and read the story of Elijah from 1 Kings 19 where he is running away in fear for his life. An angel sustains him and tells him to go to the mountain of God. Elijah complies and in the rest of this story does as God commands by standing on the mountain while God is passing by. Elijah is now standing on the mountain and then a great wind came and split the mountain and rocks fell but
God was not in the wind
God was not in the fire
God was not in the earthquake
God was in the whisper
I answered the whisper that day, it has led me through rough times and finally, to realize a call to ministry. I am waiting now for confirmation of that call from our community of faith.
What are you waiting for now?
In this Advent, may you listen for that whisper that is the voice of God.
Reading for the week: Isaiah 11: 1-10
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
Collect for the week:
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Join us this Advent as we explore what it’s like to wait! We are offering a collection of daily questions and reflections inviting us to consider what we experience and learn in our waiting, and how we find God - and God finds us - in our waiting.
Each Sunday a brief video will be shared on Facebook and Instagram to introduce us to a focus and reflection for the week. Each day a question will be posted for us to ponder. You are invited to share your own reflections by replying to these posts or reposting on your personal social media. Please follow and use #diocgcwaits. Be sure to follow our diocesan social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram; search: DioCGC.