Do you remember when you were young and Christmas or your birthday was just around the corner? Perhaps you had a good idea of the presents you might expect to receive and you just couldn’t wait for the day to get there. Remember the anxiety of anticipation?
That is one of the two thoughts that went through my mind as I reflected on Wednesday’s Gospel:
“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when He comes, the Spirit of truth, He will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what He hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.’” (John 16:12-13)
Once again, Jesus was talking in figures of speech and he dangled a curious carrot out there by declaring they would have to wait to learn what ‘things were coming’. In all honesty, though, what else could He do? There was no concrete way to explain what the Holy Spirit was and even if He did try there was no way the Apostles would understand it. Jesus knew they would have to experience it a little at a time….and when the time was right.
At face value, the Apostles knew Jesus was going away and He was promising to give them something special (and it had to be very special) to take His place. But, there was a hitch – they would have to wait to learn what it would be. Waiting, and its accompanying anticipation, can be agonizing.
The second thought was more personal and immediate as it relates to me, and, I know, many of my cohorts in the Spiritual Mentorship Program. We are two days into our week of training and formation, the first of four sessions over a two year period, and we are on fire! The course work and practicum presented by the two professors from the School of Faith has been the best classroom experience I’ve ever had. They present the material with incredible wisdom and conviction that makes it easy to learn and, naturally, desire more. The Sisters and Brothers of the Apostles of the Interior Life demonstrate a special spirituality that is evident in their generosity, kindness, and desire to teach; and they exude a rare happiness that can only come from an intimate relationship with Christ. We want to learn how to get a little more of what they have!
We know we have a good thing going here and we don’t want it to stop. But, we know it will come to an end on Sunday. At least for this semester. Our mentors know, as Jesus did, that we can only absorb so much at one time, that we will have to ruminate on what we’ve learned so that it will become internal to us before we can move forward to learn more. Alas, in waiting to learn more, we will have to learn to wait. The waiting, and the anticipation of the good things to come, will be agonizing….but worth it.
“Heavenly Father, through Your grace, please instill in us the virtues of Persistence as we learn methods to bring others closer to You, and of Patience as we eagerly await to learn more about our faith and how to be Your disciples. Amen.”
(Waiting to Learn – Learning to Wait was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)
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