Saturday, December 15, 2018

First Sunday of Advent C: Looking towards the end

December 2, 2018

Jesus, I trust in you.

Every time we begin a new year, we are filled with hope. To many of us, a new year is an opportunity to erase mistakes done during the past year. A new leaf turns and so hopefully, things would get better. This hope is expressed by the word “sana”: “Sana maging masagana ang bagong taon”; “Sana matupad ang pangarap ko”; “Sana magbago na ang lahat.” Perhaps this is the reason why we light a candle of hope on the first Sunday of Advent. Inasmuch as the first Sunday of Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year, we light the candle of hope which expresses our longing for something (or someone) in the future.
The Last Judgment

But why is it that the Gospel about the end of the world? The signs in the sun, moon, and the stars, the shaking of the powers of the heavens and the roaring of the sea and of its waves will cause all people to be perplexed and afraid in anticipation of what is coming upon the world. This fear will come from the fact that they do not know why these things are happening. But we Christians are told by the Lord that when these things happen, we should stand erect and raise our heads because we know that our redemption is at hand. We know that the Lord Jesus will descend in a cloud with power and great glory. We are so sure that this will happen because our Lord promised that he will return and he will keep his promise: “The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah.” We should raise our heads as if we are telling the world: “The Lord comes with vindication. Just wait and see…I told you that this will happen. The Lord will return to judge the living and the dead.”

There is no use for distress because our worrying will not keep the Lord from fulfilling his promise. Our worry will not stop the signs from taking place. “That day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.” The day of his return is already set and nothing can we do to delay it. Every Advent season brings us closer to that appointed end. Time is running out.

Therefore, what must we do? St Paul tells us we should spend our remaining time in striving to increase in love for one another and for all. We must strive to be blameless in holiness before God at the coming of the Lord Jesus. As we received apostolic instructions on how to conduct ourselves to please God, we should do even more because we are closer to that day and time is running out. The anxieties of daily life and the corruption of the world must not allow us to be caught by surprise on that day. We know that the Lord will surely come. Therefore we must be vigilant in prayer and in charity so that we may be able to stand before the Son of Man.

Look at the overseas contract worker. Every day he works and toils and endures the pain of being separated from his loved ones. What sustains him is a date that he keeps in mind: the date of the end of the contract when he could return to his family. And as that day draws near, he saves his earnings so that he may bring something home to offer his family.

Let us keep in mind that we are strangers in this world. Every day, we work and toil as time brings us closer to the end. This hope should console us. We are going home at last and our true home is in heaven. Now that the end of our earthly journey is coming to an end, we should think of what to bring home to offer the Lord at his return. What harvest will I offer him? What good work? What offering of holiness will I give him? We shall soon be reunited with the Lord. That day will not be far away. Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!   

No comments:

Post a Comment