It seems we spent an awful lot of our childhood waiting. Maybe it’s an essential part of being a kid. We waited in line, we waited our turn, we were told to wait until we were asked. We had to wait until someone bigger or older got something for us. And sometimes it was really hard to be patient waiting for Christmas or your birthday, but you had to.
Waiting is part of powerlessness, poverty, littleness. Perhaps we thought that when we grew up, with a car and some money, we’d be able to call the shots, we’d be big and we wouldn’t have to wait anymore. But soon and much better, with friendship and love, waiting became expectation, hope, attentiveness and sometimes a fluttering heart. For when you’re waiting for someone you love, the waiting is worth it, the waiting itself is delicious; desire trumps the tedium, desire lets us embrace the powerlessness that’s always part of loving someone. That’s when the waiting, the desire becomes itself possession.
It’s always worth waiting for someone you can’t wait to see; it can make you high for weeks, sustain you in difficulty, holding in dream and desire one whom you love and hope to be reunited with. We think of soldiers at war gazing at photos. As monks we’re made to live with that kind of high expectation. Somehow we wait as we pray; our praying is our waiting. It’s what we came for. And with loving expectation, the waiting, the desiring is itself the reward. We’re meant to live in incessant desire and vigilance for a Someone supremely worth our waiting. Desire is possession. “Be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,” Jesus says to us this morning. And he seems to be depending on our attention, desiring our desire for him.
Excerpts from this morning's homily.