The best metaphor for our world of today is astronauts speeding through the cosmos, but with their life-supporting capsule pierced by a meteorite fragment. But the Church resembles Mary and Joseph travelling from Egypt to Nazareth on a donkey, holding in their arms the weakness and poverty of the Child Jesus: God incarnate.
Carlo Caretto, The God Who Comes, with thanks to inward/outward
Our waiting is always shaped by alertness to the Word. It is waiting in the knowledge that someone wants to address us. The question is, are we home? Are we at our address, ready to respond to the doorbell? We need to wait together, to keep each other at home spiritually, so that when the Word comes it can become flesh in us. That is why the Book of God is always in the midst of those who gather. We read the Word so that the Word can become flesh and have a whole new life in us.
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Finding My Way Home, p.107, The Crossroad Publishing Company
Our waiting is what the world calls weakness. The world wants action, decisiveness, assertiveness, alacrity—these are the strengths it admires and nurtures, demands.
Our Lord was hidden in his mother’s womb for 9 long months, and then hidden, as Caretto tells us, in her arms all that long and vulnerable journey into exile in Egypt. His early life, back in Nazareth, was hidden among sawdust and stacked planks, down some dusty unrecorded narrow street.
Our life in Advent is hidden in the darkness of unknowing, our eyes turned to the pain in which we are, by our plain createdness, hopelessly implicated. Or it would be hopeless, were it not for the rumour of prophecy, the persistence of what we must still call faith…