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Advent – Monday, Fourth Week

December 23, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
Come and set us free!

Scripture for Today

Today, I am waiting for the first day of next month so that I can move into a new apartment.

I am waiting for the birth of my first niece or nephew, who’s due in a few weeks.

I am waiting for my brother to get over an exhausting eight-year struggle with Lyme disease so he can finish his degree; and for my friend Isidore to find a relationship, after many years of longing for a wife and children of his own.

I am waiting for the Church that I love so much to articulate a compassionate, honest, livable response to the suffering of my friend Chris, who is gay.

There is a deeper waiting too. I’m twenty-eight, so I practically have one foot in theCamino27Umbrellas grave, obviously. I love God and I pray and I go to church, but I sense that I’m waiting for a deeper, truer encounter with God — something that will give shape and purpose to my life. Maybe a call to have a family. Maybe an invitation to a different sort of community. It’s a longing that tugs my heart every single day.

There is a temptation to quit waiting and to kill the longing. Something like, I can’t make this happen but at least I’m going to stop wanting it. I’ll fill up my life with theater and travel and writing and forget how much I want this. If it comes, great, but it might not, so I’d better have myself taken care of.

Suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire”
Malachi 1:3

That phrase from today’s Scripture is one of my favorites in the Old Testament, because I think of the long, long waitings in the Advent story that were met with a sudden encounter. Elizabeth and her lifelong desolation of childlessness. Simeon and wise old Anna, waiting decades for the answer to a promise they couldn’t even be certain of seeing in their own lifetimes. Zechariah in today’s Gospel, naming his son after nine months of deafness — for all he knew, maybe he would never hear again, never be able to talk with that new baby son — suddenly with his tongue free to sing to his little boy.

So I wait for the sudden encounter, and I know it will be all the more beautiful when it comes because it will be a surprise.

Erika Zabinski

Jesus, coming Savior, as we await the celebration of your birth, remind us that you are already present here in all the events of our lives. Give us discerning hearts, that we may find you wherever and whenever you come to meet us. We pray in your name, Amen.

The king shall come when morning dawns and earth’s dark night is past;
O haste the rising of the morn whose day shall ever last!

_________

Find writers’ bios here.
Photographs by Theresa Ruttger. Graphic design by Baya Clare CSJ. Before copying or using any text or images from this site, please contact bayathread(at)gmail(dot)com for permission.
Some material on this site is adapted from Daily Prayer, Daily Bread, published by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille in 2004, and is used with the permission of the Editor and Project Director, Eleanor Bernstein CSJ.

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