COR THOUGHTS 232: Watching, Waiting, Desiring


This weekend marks the start of Advent. The word “advent” refers to the coming or arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. In the Christian sense of the term, of course, it refers to the coming of Christ – both his first coming in Bethlehem and his second coming when all will be consummated in the eternal Marriage of the Lamb. “Be watchful! Be alert!” says Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel. “You do not know when the time will come.” What keeps us alert and watchful? Desire. The final words of the Bible express the summation of human longing: “The Spirit and the bride say come!” Great saints like Augustine, Gregory, and Bernard all tell us that Christ keeps his bride waiting to increase and stretch her desire. Desire is the faculty that not only pines after the divine gift, but also receives it when it is given, so the wider our desire, the more we are capable of receiving. Christ wants us to be as wide open to his gift as possible, stretched in our desire unto infinity, because that’s what he has to offer us: the wild ecstasy of Infinite bliss in union with him. Come Lord Jesus, come!