This past Sunday, December 3, marked the first Advent Sunday of the 2017 Christmas season. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year, this is when everything starts.

The word Advent comes from the Latin, adventus, which can have several meanings:

  1. arrival, approach
  2. invasion, incursion
  3. ripening
  4. visit, appearance, advent

I like the multilayered translation of this single Latin word; all of the corresponding English words indicate an encounter of a sort or something coming to term. As one may imagine, adventus for Christians means “advent, arrival;” but contrary to what one might think, the term in Christian literature traditionally refers to Jesus’ second coming and not his nativity!

As Christians, we believe we are between times, between two fulfillments, the coming of the Messiah with Jesus’ birth more than 2000 years ago and what is called his Second Coming, which is to take place at the end of times. The Advent season is a reminder of this in-between, of what has been realized and what is still to come and to be done. The liturgical year is a cycle, it has no real beginning or end, it is a movement, a repetition that keeps us always looking ahead, going forward while coming back to the same crossroads. As we are entering in the Advent season, we are commemorating an event from the past, something that has already happened, and at the same time we are hoping for what is to come.

But what are we waiting for?

Are we passively waiting for the end of times, the Advent and Jesus’ Second Coming? It would solve a lot of our problems, I agree! We would no longer have to worry about the future of humanity or the future of our planet; things would fall into place; at last, evil would be defeated.

What are we waiting for?

The double entendre of the question seems appropriate in today’s context. What are we waiting for to make things happen? What are we waiting for to change reality in the face of injustice and suffering? What are we waiting for to participate in the Advent, the coming and realization of other times? This may be the question to ask ourselves as we are entering in this season again and restarting our liturgical cycle. Here is a blessing by Jan Richardson that we recently shared in our office during our morning prayer, a blessing for waiting, waiting to and waiting for. Share it further!

“Blessing for Waiting”

[in Circle of Grace]

Who wait

for the night to end


bless them.


Who wait

for the night

to begin


bless them.




Who wait with fear

who wait with joy

who wait with peace

who wait with rage


who wait for the end

who wait for the beginning

who wait alone

who wait together


bless them.




Who wait

when they

should not wait

who wait

when they should be

in motion

who wait

when they need to rise

who wait

when they need to set out


bless them.


Who wait

for the end

of waiting

who wait for the fullness

of time

who wait

emptied and

open and


who wait

for you,


O bless.