Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’Lk 21:25-28. 34-36
Advent is not only a time of preparation for the Nativity of our Lord celebrated in the great feast of Christmas, it is also a timely reminder of the Lord’s Second Coming, and our own impending judgement.
As with his disciples, Jesus warns us ‘be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.’ We must be prepared therefore to be judged at any time. To this end we must always live in accordance with his teachings, especially to love God and our neighbour.
Advent is a time of new beginnings and provides us with an ideal opportunity for seeking personal renewal. We should never defer until tomorrow what we can do today. Rather, we should seek to reconcile ourselves with others, to heal broken relationships and to be people of helping hands and loving hearts.
Advent therefore is not just a time of preparing but also one of doing. True Christian discipleship is faith and love in action.
Director, Mission and Identity