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REFLECTION

Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of the Lord, whom we portray as a precious infant in a simple manger at the end of this season.  But there are two more arrivals of our Lord to contemplate during this season of preparation and they tend to be overlooked.  One day Jesus Christ will come again in glory as the world ends and he delivers his final judgment.  He gives a glimpse of this to his disciples in today’s Gospel.  But let us also consider his third appearance — to each of us personally, into our hearts and into our lives as we embrace him as his disciples.  As we celebrate today, let us consider how we can welcome him ever more intimately into our lives.

Advent Patience

Advent reminds us of the three comings of the Lord — the coming in history over 2000 years ago; the coming in glory at the end of time when God’s dream for humankind will be realized; the coming in mystery in the happenings of daily life.

If we can learn in these weeks of Advent the importance of patient waiting, we have learned one of the great lessons in life. This is hard for us, especially in the West. We live in an instant age — instant food, instant this, that and the other. We even speed up nature: with artificial light we fool the hens to lay two eggs a day! We are in too much of a hurry in having every possible experience too early in life — the morning-after pill for eleven-year-olds!

The most important things in life cannot be rushed and require patient waiting. Patient waiting is required from the mother to bring the child to birth, and then from babyhood to adulthood; the teacher requires it with the slow learner; the politician requires it not to give up on the peace process, and everybody requires it to build loving relationships. We wait not mournfully, but in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Gospel: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

“Making ready for the final day when Christ will come as judge

[Jesus said to his disciples]: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

 
 
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