Vigilance at the Coming

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:25-28, 34-36.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”


Our redemption is at hand. The Advent season picks up from the cues of the previous liturgical year and presents the same expectations. Something new is coming our way. There will be great changes and signs. The Gospel reading does not mean to scare us. Instead, it reminds us to be courageous and hopeful. For the shaking of all the powers of heaven is a reminder to every Christian that redemption is near.

We are waiting for our redemption. To be redeemed means to be ransomed from captivity. We are waiting for the coming of a Savior who will pay the ransom for us. The reading tells us that ransom is sure to come, that is why we need keep hope in our hearts. For the birth of this Savior is also the birth of our redemption.

Yet we are not to wait passively. We are challenged to prepare for His coming. For everyone will have to deal the moment of His coming. Everyone will have to stand before the Savior when He comes. Our very lives must be prepared for Him. The season of Advent is upon us. The Church calls us to be vigilant.


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