Can you imagine waiting with great anticipation for most of your life for an event to unfold, never knowing how or when it would happen? The uncertainty of who would even be the source of all your longing made the task almost a mission impossible. That takes a tremendous amount of courage and steadfastness. The hope that is needed is profound. Many would walk away after several months or years, but not Anna. Anna never left the temple, worshiping there around the clock with prayer and fasting.
How would she have felt when she realized that the Holy Family had just entered the temple? The child who was to bring about the redemption of Jerusalem was finally here and she lifted her voice in praise to God. Did Anna remain in the temple for long afterwards, giving thanks for this miracle and marveling that the dream had come true? Or did she slip silently into the streets after all those decades of waiting, to eventually tell everyone her story?
What do we do when we are asked to wait for something that will change our lives profoundly? Anna’s fidelity to her vocation is outstanding. Would I have been able to find the fortitude to remain in readiness to receive the Redeemer? Some days on this grand adventure of mine, I cannot even pray, let alone fast. I often am plagued by an imposter syndrome. The fatigue is too much. My weariness causes me to lose sight of my Beloved and yet when I find the energy, I am always filled with deep joy to return more fully. Many days I do not feel like a faith-filled Anna but she holds a light onto my path for which I am grateful when the darkness threatens. She assures me that the receiving the Redeemer is worth the struggle and the wait.
What are you being asked to wait for?
How do you think you will recognize its arrival?
Redeemer, we await you in our lives. We long for your coming. May we be as steadfast as Anna in our readiness to receive you. Amen.