Waiting for the Passion, the passion of waiting.

Woman Praying Outdoors

“In the passion and resurrection of Jesus we see God as a waiting God…. In a way, [Jesus’] agony is not simply the agony of approaching death. It is also the agony of having to wait. It is the agony of a God who depends on us for how God is going to live out the divine presence among us. It is the agony of the God who, in a very mysterious way, allows us to decide how God will be God.

All action ends in passion because the response to our action is out of our hands. That is the mystery of friendship, the mystery of community – they always involve waiting. And that is the mystery of Jesus’ love.” Henri Nouwen[1]

Waiting for the Passion

How is it that today we are still waiting for the Passion? That each year the Church in her goodness gives us a season of self-emptying to be filled with something Greater; a season of joy grounded in trust, of hope in the promise of the Resurrection – the season of Lent? We wait because God is ever new.[2]

Each Mass we are present at Calvary. Each Easter Triduum we are no less mysteriously, but TRULY present at Jesus’ Passion. His Sacrifice of love has not changed, but we have. As we wait to enter into Holy Week, He waits for us. Waits for our trust, for our invitation for Him to act, to be present at this moment, at this time in our lives.

The passion of waiting

A very wise priest once told me, every day we participate in our own small way in the Paschal Mystery: the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. To the extent we allow ourselves to be present to these little “passions,” dying to ourselves in hidden ways, so to the extent we share in the joy of the Resurrection.

As we prepare to enter into Holy Week, may we choose the way of quiet confidence. In the midst of apparent defeat, hopes seemingly unrealized, or work left undone – we wait with Mary and the Apostle John at the foot of the cross. Let us respond to Jesus’ Passion with trust and invitation, certain that our little offerings, even our agonies, when truly offered to Him will lead to our joy in the glory of the Resurrection.

“Waiting is active, patiently present, open-ended, hoping in a promise, lived in community…this is it! Oh my…faith. God grant me faith, hope and love in the waiting.”[3]

[1] Nouwen, Henri, “A Spirituality of Waiting,” 1985, www.athomewithgod.co.uk.

[2] Isaiah 43:19, http://www.usccb.org/bible.

[3] Prayer of a dear friend. Erin, Archdiocese of Philadelphia parishioner, Lent 2017.

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