St. James offers us who are waiting two examples to live by, encouraging our patience: The farmer and the prophet. These are useful images in our parishes today. God sustains the farmer and the prophet in their struggles. Both occupations continue their work while at the same time relying on God and trusting in God doing the other share of the work. Both of them have the gift of persistence, patience, and perseverance. One might think of the imagery of rain as grace poured out from heaven. Both don’t just sit around waiting for God to act, but rather continue to go about the work assigned to them. Both are all about harvest; note the ingathering imagery of the prophet Isaiah this Sunday.

Patient waiting is the problem for us in our instant gratification culture. Most of us are not patient waiters. Hurry, rush, haste are the words of our times. Meanwhile we miss the signs of the reign of God among already, God breaking forth into our world like shards of light in the darkness. We go too fast to see them and the divine presence.

Stilling my heart and soul and body and mind in prayer enables the in-sight to these things. And we need to do this with one another in the circle of the family first of all and as parish family. Perhaps Advent liturgies should move along more carefully and slowly. And here’s how we think: there’s no Gloria so I have a few minutes to add and not go over the time of 50 minutes. This is not the way.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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