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What are we Waiting For?

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Advent is a time of waiting, but what are we waiting for?

Jesus the Incarnate Word of God has already come into the world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).

Through Jesus, the love and mercy of our good God already reigns in our world. Through Jesus, the world was redeemed and salvation is available to all women and men. According to St. Francis of Assisi, all of creation participates in salvation because Jesus became one with the entire created world. On the flip side, Jesus is the best way that humans can relate to the Father.

The Franciscan view on the Incarnation emphasizes the love of God enfleshed in Christ as the center of reality, rather than focus on sin. In the 14th Century, Blessed John Duns Scotus, a Franciscan scholar, was asked, “Would Jesus have come if Adam had not sinned?”

He answered, “Yes. Jesus came because the divine Trinitarian communion of persons wished to express divine life and goodness.” For that reason, the whole universe was made in the image of the divine Word, and to participate in the life of the universe, that Word came as a created being, a creature, to show in a concrete, material way the form and model of all creation, made in the divine model. (Taken from Custodians of the Tradition, “A Franciscan Language for the 21st Century,” by William Short, OFM.)

However, sin seems to reign in our world today. We experience huge divisions among people, wars, talk of wars, and extreme poverty and injustice throughout the world. One only needs to walk our city streets to encounter many who are poor and homeless. This can make it difficult to truly believe that God’s love and mercy is present today.

I suggest that if we entered more fully into the Incarnation, not only as individuals but as a Church and a nation, the world would be a different place. If we lived in the reality of God’s unconditional love, our lives, our Church and our world would be filled with love, mercy and justice.

What are we waiting for? We are waiting for the return of Jesus so that He may establish His ultimate reign in our lives and in our world.

BROTHER TIM SUCHER, OFM is a Franciscan friar of the Province of St. John the Baptist, headquartered in Cincinnati. A friar for 46 years, he attended Duns Scotus College Seminary, Southfield, MI, and St. Leonard College, Centerville, OH. He taught high school, managed a homeless shelter, was director of student friars on the graduate level and directed outreach programs in various cities. Presently, he is the guardian of St. Francis Seraph Friary and pastoral associate at St. Francis Seraph Church/ School in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine

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