My family and I were very blessed this past weekend to spend our first Sunday of Advent in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Our celebrant and homilist was Cardinal Timothy Dolan (woo hoo!). He was warm, welcoming, and inviting, and his homily hit very close to home for my husband and me. I know I cannot do it justice in my own words, but I’ll give it a go.
Cardinal Dolan talked about Advent as a time of “patient waiting.” He talked about how the Israelites – the chosen people of God – waited 400 years for the coming of their Savior. He then mentioned how you and I can be impatient in our waiting. We can be impatient with others (an elderly family member, waiting at the checkout at the grocery store, or even getting out of the parking lot after Mass) or with ourselves (just when am I going to finally lose this weight?). He then talked about God’s time. Not my time, not your time. God’s perfect timing. We as humans are like microwave ovens – “I want my pizza heated, and I want it now.” God, however, is more like a crock pot – thinking in millennia – not months. When we as humans pray for an answer, we may pray for months, years, even decades. God answers in his perfect time.
God’s timing leads then to the concept of trust. If my timing is not being met, then I suppose I have to trust that God’s timing and God’s plan is perfect. I must trust in Him, and not in myself and my little plan for my life and the life of my family. Instead of, “Me, me, me,” it should be, “Him, Him, Him!”
My very feeble life experience has shown me that God’s plan is always better than anything that I can imagine. I’ve also been told that God answers prayers in three ways:
- “Not Yet”
- “I’ve got a much better idea.”
So I continue to try to trust. And my husband continues to try to trust. We wait (and wait) for God’s perfect timing. We currently and patiently wait for the feast of Christmas – when God’s perfect plan for the world came to life and brought the Good News to us all.