In today’s Gospel reading on the first Sunday of the C Cycle of Advent we hear the end of Jesus detailed dissertation on the ‘Signs of the End’. To understand Jesus’ comments in historical context, we have to back up to Luke 21:5, where we read about how some people were going on and on about how beautifully the Temple as adorned with costly stones and votive offerings. To which Jesus responded, “All that you see here – the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” To which ‘they’ then responded by asking Jesus, “Teacher, when will this happen! And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” From there Jesus moved into painting them a very insightful mural of signs of the end times, of coming persecutions, of a great tribulation, the coming of the Son of Man, and a lesson of the fig tree. Then He concludes His painting with a warning for His hearers:

      “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
      from carousing and drunkenness
      and the anxieties of daily life,
      and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
      For that day will assault everyone
      who lives on the face of the earth.
      Be vigilant at all times
      and pray that you have the strength
      to escape the tribulations that are imminent
      and to stand before the Son of Man.”

In a historical context, it seems much of Jesus’ prophecy was already been fulfilled; the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed the the Romans in 70 A.D., His followers were persecuted, put to death, and hated because of His name. Jerusalem was surrounded by armies and trampled upon by Gentiles. Perhaps and obviously some these events may and do repeat themselves, but, yet, what remains to come is His final coming:

      Jesus said to his disciples:
      “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
      and on earth nations will be in dismay,
      perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
      People will die of fright
      in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
      for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
      And then they will see the Son of Man
      coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
      But when these signs begin to happen,
      stand erect and raise your heads
      because your redemption is at hand.

During our four week Advent season, what we are called to do is to enter into a perpetual state of waiting for the coming of the Lord into the world. We are awaiting that defining Christ Mass – the sending of the God the Son into world by God the Father. While, the coming of the Lord itself is a perpetual event that we bare witness to in the lives people who God converts to His love, and whenever Mass is offered and Christ comes as the Holy Eucharist, through the sacred Scriptures, through His priest, and through His people, it is during Advent season that we make an even more concerted effort to practice our prayerful attitude of waiting on the Lord. This prayerful attention to the Lord should begin to approach its seasonal climax at the Christ Mass vigil, and then carry over into the new liturgical year.

The good news for faithful Catholics is that at every Mass we see the glorious coming of the Lord to His people as the Holy Eucharist. In a sense we are more than just Seventh day Adventist, we are 365 day Adventist. Being that we have made it our practice to wait on the coming of the Lord, we will not be those people who die in fright to see Him, for we live in the paradox of receiving Him in His coming and waiting for His coming. We are always anticipating the Lord who has come, who comes, and will come again.

What remains for us to do, as we perpetually wait for the Lord, is for us to be vigilant in cooperating the grace that God is pouring out upon to to make us holy; to conform us into the image of His Son. We must prayerfully receive the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, be witnesses of God’s love with our life, and jealously guard of soul against all attacks from the Evil One.

Jesus, I await your coming.
Your coming into my heart,
into my life,
into my family
into my job,
into my finances,
into my awaking, my resting, and my sleeping.
Into all of my comings and my goings.
Come Jesus, Come Jesus, Come Jesus.
All that I have is yours.
Remove from my life what grieves you, heal in my life what pains you, and bless in my life what glorifies your Holy Name.
Come Jesus.

Scripture texts in this blog are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.