The Son of Man comes and he does not want his coming to catch us unprepared.
We do not know when our Lord is coming. That is why we have to be continually watchful and always prepared.
Yes, Jesus wants us to focus on his coming. Of course, this would be hard for us to do, if we knew when he would arrive. That is because if we had the exact knowledge about his coming, we would set up a waiting schedule. That way we would have time for other matters.
Yet what Jesus seeks precisely is that we wait for his coming single-mindedly. He does not like our celebrations of important milestones and our tasks distracting us from being watchful.
Jesus expects us Christians to cultivate an attitude of preparedness. He wants us to opt for him fundamentally, to turn toward him increasingly and familiarize ourselves intimately with his coming. Just like all virtue, however, all this becomes possible only with on-going practice.
Hardly will we prepare for Jesus’ coming unless we perceive his mysterious presence today.
Jesus claims that he has come to fulfill the law and the prophets. Do we catch a glimpse of him in those who are radically righteous and merciful? They neither insult nor belittle anyone. And they are not aggressive or vengeful.
Jesus tells his critics that he has come to call sinners. Surely, he is there where sinners receive welcome.
Jesus has come to set the earth on fire, too, and bring division. He is present through those who, blazing with his fire, go about announcing the Gospel by words and by works (SV.EN XII:78). Insisting on the weightier teachings of the law, they get into conflict with the authorities.
Also, Jesus has come to serve and to give his life for all. The Church that follows his example is truly his sacrament.
Moreover, Jesus has come as light. He is in the midst of those who walk in his light and conduct themselves properly as in the day.
And those who live by the divine word, which reveals the divine will, remind us of Mary’s Son. He has come down from heaven to do the will of the one who sent him. His food is to do God’s will and finish God’s work. Because of this, God gives him the name, “Bread from heaven.” Partaking worthily of the table of his word and of his body and blood, we shall live forever.
And worthy participation implies discernment of Christ’s body in the poor. Those who have it will pay attention to the Son of Man when he comes in his glory, even in the midst of their celebrations and tasks.
Lord Jesus, grant us to recognize you in the poor. May they intercede for us (SV.EN IX:200).
27 November 2016
1st Sunday Advent (A)
Is 2, 1-5; Rom 13, 11-14; Mt 24, 37-44