Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Thursday of the First Week of Advent Meditation

“Advent, this powerful liturgical season that we are beginning, invites us to pause in silence to understand a presence. It is an invitation to understand that the individual events of the day are hints that God is giving us, signs of the attention he has for each one of us. ”

~Pope Emeritus Benedict,Homily at First Vespers of Advent November 28, 2009

“Before He was made, He was; and His was the power, because He was all-powerful, to be made and to remain what He was. Abiding with His Father, He made for Himself a mother; and when He was made in the womb of His mother, He remained in the heart of His Father….The Word did not become flesh by ceasing to be; on the contrary, the flesh, lest it should cease to be, was joined to the Word, so that, just as man is body and soul, Christ might be God and man, not in a confusion of nature, but in the unity of a person.”

~St.Augustine~

We do not preach only one coming of Christ, but a second as well, much more glorious than the first. The first coming was marked by patience; the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.

In general, whatever relates to our Lord Jesus Christ has two aspects. There is a birth from God before the ages, and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time. There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece, and a coming before all eyes, still in the future.

At the first coming he was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. At his second coming he will be clothed in light as in a garment. In the first coming he endured the cross, despising the shame; in the second coming he will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels.

We look then beyond the first coming and await the second. At the first coming we said: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. At the second we shall say it again; we shall go out with the angels to meet the Lord and cry out in adoration: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

The Saviour will not come to be judged again, but to judge those by whom he was judged. At his own judgement he was silent; then he will address those who committed the outrages against him when they crucified him and will remind them: You did these things, and I was silent.

His first coming was to fulfil his plan of love, to teach men by gentle persuasion. This time, whether men like it or not, they will be subjects of his kingdom by necessity.

The prophet Malachi speaks of the two comings. And the Lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple: that is one coming.

Again he says of another coming: Look, the Lord almighty will come, and who will endure the day of his entry, or who will stand in his sight? Because he comes like a refiner’s fire, a fuller’s herb, and he will sit refining and cleansing.

These two comings are also referred to by Paul in writing to Titus: The grace of God the Saviour has appeared to all men, instructing us to put aside impiety and worldly desires and live temperately, uprightly, and religiously in this present age, waiting for the joyful hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Notice how he speaks of a first coming for which he gives thanks, and a second, the one we still await.

That is why the faith we profess has been handed on to you in these words: He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

Our Lord Jesus Christ will therefore come from heaven. He will come at the end of the world, in glory, at the last day. For there will be an end to this world, and the created world will be made new.

~St Cyril of Jerusalem

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. ”

~GALATIANS 4: 4–7

Gracious Father, it was not enough for you to send your Son into our world to redeem us. We know that, when we look on the face of the Son of Mary, we see you. In Jesus, your Son, we are your adopted children, chosen to share in the riches of your love and called to rejoice with you in the New Jerusalem where we shall praise you with all the holy ones for all eternity. Grant us so to live that, when you look upon us, you see your beloved Son incarnate in us through the power of your Spirit.

Make an effort today to look on everyone you meet, especially anyone who is unpleasant, as a person chosen by the Father of Jesus to share the gift of adoption, with you, in Christ.

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