Home Community On A Firm Foundation: Anticipating Anticipation

On A Firm Foundation: Anticipating Anticipation


By Mary Quilici Aumack

Chief Executive Officer
The Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County

I’m a broken record sometimes.  In my writing, themes repeat themselves.  Far overriding all others is that of gratitude for the “why” of us:  The real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

As we head toward Advent, we do so in joyful “anticipation of anticipation.”  One of the reasons I shy away from surprise parties, especially if people are coming from out of town to help celebrate, is that they deny the honoree the joy of anticipation.  Knowing also allows the honoree to “spiff up” a little and present his/her best self.  And yet, even though the birthday girl or retiree knows it’s coming, there can be surprise and joy in the photo array or video or corny skit that is done in his/her honor.

Isn’t it the same with Advent?  We are not only anticipating our celebration of the greatest GIFT of all time, we are using the time to prepare, to move closer to our best selves.  We do this through action, advocacy and prayer.  We take ornaments off the giving tree at church.  We adopt a family who we will probably never meet.  When our daughter was growing up, we would take a tiny book and place it on our Advent tree every day starting with December 1.  These books tell the story of the Nativity.

And as we prepare, we are ready to be bowled over by unanticipated joy.  This could be from an unexpected guest, a particularly moving card, or a funny and perfect gift.

Or sometimes, through prayer, liturgy, reading discussion, we receive unexpected joy in just remembering that this story unfolded for US.  That this savior came down, fully human, KNOWING of impending suffering and death, for us.

Mary prepared, and waited in great expectation.  And yet, I suspect she experienced quite unexpected joy when she first held the ineffable fruits of the most important “YES” in the history of the world.

So, we look forward, in gratitude for the past.  In gratitude for a gift that we may never truly comprehend.  We choose to “make a difference,” to BE the Body of Christ in the world, to improve our communities, strengthen our parishes and pray with our families.  To evangelize:  spreading the good news is pretty easy this time of year.  Through these actions, we continue the story.

This is what legacy is.  It is our formalized looking forward, showing gratitude by providing FOREVER VALUE for parishes, schools, or any ministry that has been important to our story.

We dare to anticipate eternal life, to IMAGINE being forever in the direct presence of God.  The joy is almost too much to grasp.

As we anticipate with great joy the wonderous gift, I invite you to be in discussion with us about preserving your legacy, through gifts both tangible and intangible.  Through support of ministry, and in prayer.

Happy anticipation!

Visit our website:  www.cfoscc.org.