At Mass, one of my favorite parts are the priest’s words at the end of the Our Father. I pray them interiorly as he speaks –
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. – Liturgy of the Eucharist
The above is from another post I made over two years ago entitled ‘Protect Us From All Anxiety‘. It has gotten enough traffic to make it in my top 15 of visited articles. A lot of searching on the word ‘anxiety.’ In that post, I shared “I worry that my anxiety reveals that I do not trust God enough with my life.”
In preparation of my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I anticipated that God would have a message for me. By the last day or two of the pilgrimage, I heard loud and clear that God was saying “Trust Me More.” This message was loudest in the place where Jesus surely was in the greatest of his own anxiety – the Garden of Gethsemane. It is the place where Jesus placed His trust in his own Father. We heard the Gospel accounts of Jesus and his agony in the garden. “Stay Awake!” — we are reminded. “Can’t you stay awake with me for even one hour?”
God has a purpose for us all and it is not always the easy way. God showed me in hindsight how the Holy Spirit had been working throughout each day of this journey. By the last day of pilgrimage and the first few days back home, I could only be amazed at where the hand of God had been directing my experiences. It has given me the strength to endure greater difficulties that transpired after I’d been home a couple of weeks – the hospitalizations of my father – both while I was in Israel and again after I was home. To have a parent look at you in the ER with fear in their eyes. My own fear. Mostly it has encouraged me to tell my family to trust God more. “Wake up!” God is good. God loves you.
I think the words “waiting in joyful hope” are the words I claim for this Advent. I wait in the joyful hope of the prayers I offer for my loved ones.