After putting up with the shameful cross, Jesus has been lifted up to the highest place. To fix our eyes on him means not to lose heart.
A new year starts in the Church, but she asks us to fix our gaze on the end. It tells us, “Eyes on the prize.” It is the “prize” that God promises, by sheer grace, to us worthess servants.
And to fix our attention on what we aim at means that salvation history is not cyclical but linear. That is to say, to live is not to move in a circle around an axis like a wheel. The wheel hints at the “eternal return” of the same things (Theology of Hope (sabda.org)). To live means, rather, to walk forward, toward new surroundings and settings, till one gets to the final destiny.
We who march forward cannot, of course, lose sight of the goal. For to lose sight of it is not to know toward which place to fix our direction. Not to know where to go is to get lost.
And to fix our eyes on the end is to watch, to stay awake and ready. The waters of the flood do not destroy those who watch, are awake and ready, but save them. They are more ready than those who secure the city but forget to fix their gaze on its Creator.
To gaze in particular on the final outcome of Jesus’ life is to pluck up courage in tough times. For we do walk not only with joy and in the light and in peace, but also with sorrow and in the darkness of strife and wars. But the one at which we take a long and loving look helps us to throw off the works of darkness. And he puts on us the armor of light.
Lord Jesus, grant that we fix our gaze on you and share, with the help of your Mother’s prayers, the fullness of your grace. And as we contemplate you, make us keep in mind that we live through your death and die through your life (SV.EN I:276). Hide us where you are and fill us to the brim with your goodness, and let us live like you to die like you, who give up your body and shed your blood for us.
27 November 2022
First Sunday of Advent (A)
Is 2, 1-5; Rom 13, 11-14; Mt 24, 37-44