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Updated: Jan 22, 2023

In the gospel of this 19th Sunday in ordinary times, year C, Christ tells the crowd, “Be like those waiting for their Master to return.” Our life is full of waiting; waiting for someone to show up, for something to happen, for things to change, for just the right job, for that special someone who will make our life complete, for the test result, for the day that pain and grief will go away, for the answer to our prayers, for the day we have enough time, enough money, enough freedom, you name it. Waiting is a constant in life. Unfortunately, we do not like waiting—we go for the shortest line at the grocery store and the bank, we become impatient, even angry, waiting for the doctor or the waiter who is slow or inattentive, we push buttons repeatedly when the vending machine is slow to deliver or the elevator is slow to arrive. Yet, Christ tells us today that waiting is the key to the kingdom.

Waiting, as Christ used it is not about passing time; it is about the presence and being present; an act of faithfulness in being vigilant and keeping watch; in doing what should be done because you do not want to be caught unguarded; an assurance of things to come and the conviction of things not seen but is sure to happen.

How and where should we be waiting? We should allow ourselves to be present to the one who is always present to us—God; to be present to the reality of God who is in each one of us, in the world, within us, and in the ordinary circumstances of our lives. To keep our lamps lit because there is something to see. To move out of the darkness and come into the light because the unexpected hour is today, right here, right now.

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