“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.
~ A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Anticipation has been characterized many ways. I think that Milne nails it when he has Winnie-the-Pooh describe that certain feeling right before Eating Honey. We have been at that place many times in our own lives. As very young children, we had the anticipation of Christmas. Ripping open our presents was, perhaps, secondary to the excitement and anticipation of being able to open our presents. We may remember the great anticipation that we felt the day before our graduation from school. We often have that same feeling the day before we go on vacation.
I would dare say that most of us in the Diocese of Gary are at that very stage of anticipation at the present moment. Tomorrow, Monday, February 10th, Bishop-Elect McClory will be present at Evening Prayer at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Schererville. He will also be the homilist. Tuesday, February 11th, we will witness his ordination to the episcopacy as the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Gary. We are on pins and needles as we anticipate these events as well as his coming to the Pastoral Center to begin his administration of the diocese.
Waiting, anticipating, is an event in and of itself. It hypes us up. It prepares us. It helps us to envision the future. It gets us ready to go. We have been anticipating the arrival of a new bishop for eight months. You might be surprised to hear this; but, we are incredibly lucky. Most dioceses do not get a new bishop that fast. Our anticipation has led us to make plans and to prepare for the time a new bishop comes to lead us. His arrival will give us assurance as we will be with a shepherd once again.
There are many events that we anticipate. The most important event, of course, is the return of Jesus Christ at the end of time or the moment when Jesus will call us to Himself at the end of our days here on earth. The anticipation of that event should not fill us with fear or dread. The anticipation of that event should excite us and fill us with incredible joy.
Prepare for that day. Pray daily. Do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Do not let it catch you unprepared. The Lord will be with you and help you prepare if you ask.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for our bishop-elect as he prepares to come to our diocese, that his anticipation will turn into incredible joy.