One summer, I drove across the country all the way from here to California. When I got to San Diego, I got to see the other coast and ocean. I was so excited because it was a surfer town, and I have always loved anything like that. I grew up waterskiing, wave boarding, snowboarding and skiing, but I had always wanted to surf. It was one of the dreams I had. I rented a board in San Diego and got out in the water, took the board out past the initial break of the water, and waited and watched for that wave. It was so cool because all of a sudden I saw this wave coming and began to lift off. It was the first wave that I saw that I could ride. I began to paddle and next thing you know, I was surfing. I was up on the board my very first time. I got up on the board, and it was amazing. I paddled out again for the next one and I waited. The next wave came and then I just got crushed. I just got obliterated. I would paddle out again, and the same thing would happen again. I would get crushed and obliterated. Finally, there was this eight-year-old kid that swam to me and said, “Are you doing OK man?” I thought, I guess I am not doing OK if an eight year old is coming up to me and asking me that.
There is a beauty about surfing, and there is a beauty of the ocean. There is always something mysterious whenever you surf, and you are waiting for that wave to come in. You get out there, and the water is calm. You are just waiting. All you can do is wait and kind of look for that next wave to come. There is always that time when you wonder if there is going to be another wave. Is it going to come? Or, you start thinking that maybe there will never be another wave. I will never get to surf again. Then you watch, and some waves come and they are not big enough. You wait. You wait. You wait, and you wait. You get to the point, I think, where you allow yourself to become peaceful with the waiting. You are just enjoying the ocean around you and knowing that there will be another wave. There will be another surf. You just have to wait awhile.
I imagine that it must have been like this for the disciples when Jesus tells them that he is going to go to the Father and that they should wait for the promise of the Father. The disciples had already experienced these amazing things with Jesus. He worked miracles in their midst. He suffered, died, rose and appeared to them in the resurrection. In a sense, they had been riding all these waves. Now he ascends to them and tells them to wait for the promise of the Father. After he ascends, I imagine they must have had that kind of feeling of just being out there in the water and wondering is that next wave going to come? When is that next wave going to come? Will the promise of the Father be fulfilled in my life? We see and we know that wave did indeed come, and that wave was Pentecost. When he sent the Holy Spirit, the entire church was caught on fire.
I think about this time right now. This will be the last Sunday, Ascension, before we have public masses again. Pentecost will be next Sunday. There will be a whole wave of people coming back to the church and coming back to the sacraments. This next week, what I invite you to do, is meditate on the sense of waiting and longing for the Holy Spirit knowing that Jesus gives you that same promise. The Father gives you that same promise. He wants to send the Holy Spirit upon us. And, all we can do is wait until he does send the Holy Spirit upon us.
Take this week just to enjoy this last time of quiet and solitude before we kind of get back into life and go back into church. But, wait in a certain sense knowing that there is going to be a wave coming. The promise of the Father is that he is going to send the Holy Spirit upon his church. I really believe in a beautiful way that after this time of being isolated and secluded from the sacraments, we are going to experience a tremendous wave of the Holy Spirit. I invite you, really, to open your heart. Invite the Holy Spirit to come to you and then wait. Simply wait and spend this time in joyful anticipation of the Father’s promise being fulfilled.