Saturday of the Third Week


JGS 13:2-7, 24-25A

LK 1:5-25


One of my favorite decorations around the holidays is a little Santa figurine holding blocks that read “__ Days Until Christmas”. This mini Santa is a daily reminder of how quickly (or, perhaps, slowly) the days can pass and how often I think about what’s next in my life. This is a constant struggle for me and, oftentimes, the planning and waiting for something can be more exciting than the actual event. 

In our modern world of instant gratification, it seems as though the concept of waiting has become negligible. This year, I have found myself continually frustrated by the idea of waiting: waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine and for quarantine to end, waiting (seemingly forever) on election results, and, now, waiting for one of my favorite holidays: Christmas. I know that God’s timing is right but I often wonder - why are you making me wait!?

Jesus’ birth story, like Advent, is one of waiting. Today’s readings remind us that this is also true of John the Baptist’s birth. After many years of hoping and praying for a child, Elizabeth learns from Zechariah that she is also pregnant. This story grounds me in realizing that there really is nothing unique about having to wait. The Bible is full of stories about people waiting for a sign, waiting for God. This story, and others like it, also remind me to take a deep breath and be present with those around me, despite overwhelming feelings of impatience. This presence with others has always affirmed the presence of Holiness, the presence of God.

We all have the same number of days left until Christmas - whether they seem to fly by or if time is standing still. For all of us, waiting is simply a part of life. How can we best respond when we feel like God is making us wait? This year, those numbered blocks will serve as a reminder for me to take a deep breath, ground myself in the present, and remind myself that I am in the presence of God. 

Yasamin “Yasi” Mahallaty, ‘13
Assistant Director
Georgetown Scholar Program
Georgetown University