by Michelle Herberger
St. Augustine seemed to be voicing a universal truth when he said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You, O Lord.” Longing is part of the human condition. We are always waiting on that which isn’t yet. For some, it’s a return to health, a reuniting with a loved one, better financial times, a wedding, a baby, the phone call, a Red Ryder Air Rifle BB gun…the list is endless.
As we look around our world, we see much brokenness and fear. It’s as though we’ve forgotten the fulfillment of God’s promise to us. Advent is a time for us to truly reflect on the meaning of Christ’s coming into the world as God’s promise to us. In doing so, we can become keenly aware that we continue to live in the “now and not yet” of the Reign of God.
The Church invites us to really go deeper with our awareness of waiting. In doing so, the question remains for each of us. What am I truly waiting for, longing for at this particular time? Perhaps the longing is for peace in the midst of turmoil, or justice in the face of injustice, or hope in the face of despair. The invitation could possibly be to witness that for which one truly longs. What would it look like to live out of a place of peace and justice and hope? That might be the very invitation of our Advent waiting and longing.