There are times in our lives when the intent of a liturgical season does not match what is going on in our current state of life. We cannot possibly be of a frame of mind to rejoice or lament because we are personally experiencing just the opposite.
For me this happened on Ash Wednesday in 1989. The phone rang just as I was rushing out the door for noon Mass. Knowing I could be late, I thought for a second if I should answer it, but stopped to grab it anyway. On the other end was our social worker, Valerie, telling me our baby would be arriving on a flight on Friday afternoon from Seoul via Seattle.
We had been waiting for two months for this phone call. Our little Korean baby’s picture
was sitting on the coffee table. There had been many ups and downs dealing with her visa. But now in just 48 hours she was coming!
My somber attitude for Lent was done before it could start. I went to that noon Mass with a feeling of great alleluia in my heart. My pastor and I shared a good laugh after Mass that this year we would just party during the next 40 days and would do Lent next year.
And rejoice and be glad we did. Twenty family members and friends joined us at the gate at the Minneapolis airport with red and pink balloons and cookies that Friday afternoon. Arriving on February 10th Beth was our Valentine’s baby.
That Lent was full of gatherings of family and friends coming to meet our new daughter. As I look back now I see no penance or sacrifice in our lives during those weeks. But I think that was just fine with God. We had waited and waited for this child to complete our family. No matter the liturgical season, we were due a time of delight and celebration.