Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36
It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.
And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!
But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man
Advent is a season of hope and expectation. We are invited to prepare joyfully for the coming of Christ. He comes in history (his conception and birth), in mystery (through the sacraments, and especially the Eucharist), and in majesty (at the Last Day). In the first weeks of Advent the stress is on this third coming in majesty. Hence today’s gospel which we have already prayed with in recent days. The old liturgical year ended, and the new one has begun, with our calling to mind the Lord’s final coming at the end of time. We look forward to it with happy anticipation, not with fear.
How do the three comings of Christ impinge on my life? Do I want to deepen my awareness of them as I move through Advent? How firm is my hope?