During every Mass, immediately after the Our Father, the priest says a short prayer known as the embolism: “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
This prayer is particularly meaning full during Advent, the season when we consciously “await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ” with joyful expectation.. This kind of waiting is often difficult, as joy and expectation do not generally characterize our everyday experiences of waiting. Few of us are filled with hope as we sit in a traffic jam, stand at a bust stop, or wait for the pandemic to ease. We shop online and are willing to pay for guaranteed two-day (or overnight) delivery. We assume that Wi-Fi access will be fast and omnipresent-and we grow less patient when we have to wait for websites, audio or video to load. Amid these everyday experiences, the Advent liturgies play a crucial role in teaching and reminding us how we ought to wait with joyful expectation.
May this Advent season, different as it is, help us prepare for the Lord’s coming, both at Christmas and at the end of time. We do not wail alone. We have each other. May we grow in our capacity to receive all that our new born Savior has to offer.