Monday, December 14, 2009


Advent is a time of expectation, of waiting, of longing, of hoping. In our own ways we all know about this, usually in ways we’re rather not have had to learn it.

But there are some families in Our Savior waiting in much more difficult (painful) circumstances. I am thinking of those who long to be in full and complete sacramental fellowship with us as Catholics, and who are waiting the word from the Metropolitan Tribunal about an annulment petition.

We have a number of families like that: some have been involved in RCIA, some have simply been “finding their way home again.” It really doesn’t matter. The waiting and the wondering—abetted, unfortunately, by the slow pace of our Tribunal—cause a real spiritual anguish in their hearts, as well as a longing the Eucharist: for what in some cases they never missed until now, and now deeply crave.

They remain faithful in many, many ways, but their sadness is (for me, anyway) almost palpable.

I have a fantasy that Mary wound up visiting Elizabeth because Joseph threw her out and her parents felt too disgraced to take her back. So two women, both pregnant in irregular ways, supported each other. This being the case, what would those 3 months of the “Visitation” been like for her? She must have been wondering and waiting (and dreading?) any word from Joseph, knowing in her heart it would be the final word: divorce. So she was there, helping her elder kinswoman in her last trimester, and wondering, and waiting. Then, just before John’s birth, the word finally came: “Come home, Mary; you are my wife. I will be his father, and he will be my son.”

May our waiting be confirmed by joy. May our sadness be changed into gladness. May our hopes not be disappointed. May we hear the words of the Lord to us: “Come home—you are my spouse. I will be your God, and you shall be my people. Welcome home!”

1 comment:

  1. The remark of the anxiety caused by the "slow pace of our Tribunal" jumped out at me. Why do we have to depend on a group of people in the Tribunal to decide whether or not an annulmment is in order or not? Would it not be more logical to have the pastor of a parish make such a decision? After all the pastor should be knowledgeable about the status of the individuals concerned. (By the way, this suggestion was also made by one of the "officers" of the Mobile Marriage Tribunal about 8 years ago?? I believe His suggestion appeared in America.) Just my two cents, aidan