This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, and as such, it is the first day of the liturgical year. It is during this season of Advent that we are encouraged to anticipate the coming of our King. We do this not only through our anticipation of the celebration of His birth, but also through our remembrance of His promise that He will come again and bring us unto himself (John 14:3). In that way, this season also serves as the close of the liturgical year as well. In many ways, therefore, it is the bookends of anticipation that help us shift our focus away from ourselves and onto the Incarnate Lord, whose birth changed everything and whose return will bring all His promises to full fruition. It is in this season of Advent, therefore, that we have a special opportunity to contemplate and meditate upon the longing we have to be fully reunited with the King in whose image we were created, and whose coming again will allow us to see Him face to face.
Today, in particular, our readings focus on Jesus as the one who brings true justice and righteousness; not the justice of the world that is too often motivated by fear, prejudice, or vengeance, but the justice and righteousness of the One whom we call Father and who sees us as His beloved children. In the midst of the chaos of the world, we need to lose hope for the promises of God will come to pass. The Messiah was promised, and we anticipate our celebration of His birth in this season. The Savior, who came first in the nativity, has also promised to return again, the anticipation of which we also consider through this season.
May we be driven to look forward to our Savior for protection and defense from all the afflictions of this world, for He is the one that has promised to be faithful and to fulfill all that has been promised.
“Watch over your life: do not let your lamps go out, and do not be unprepared, but be ready, for you do not know the hour when our Lord is coming. Gather together frequently, seeking the things that benefit your souls . . .”
(as published in St. Luke’s weekly email newsletter, 11/28/18)