A Message of Warning and Hope

The Church begins the Advent season of Liturgical Cycle C by presenting the second coming of Christ in glory, in order to give us a vision of our future glory in heaven and to show us the preparation needed for it.  The Church reminds us that we are accountable for our lives before Christ the Judge.  Christ our Hope!

Today’s readings invite us to assess our lives during Advent and to make the necessary alterations in the light of the approaching Christmas celebration. Advent gives us time for improving of our lives and for deepening the sincerity of our religious commitment.  It is a call to “look up” to see that Christ is still here.  We must raise our heads in hope and anticipation, knowing that the Lord is coming again. 

Luke, in today’s Gospel passage, reminds us to trust in Jesus amid the tragedies that sometimes occur in our daily lives.  Our marriage may break up; we may lose our job, discover that we have cancer or some terminal illness or become estranged from our children.  In all such situations, when we feel overwhelmed by disaster and feel that our lives have no meaning,

Jesus says: "Stand up, raise your heads, because your salvation is near" (Lk 21:28).

Two significant Advent values are Hope and Humility – and it can’t be coincidental that they are listed consecutively in the Glossary to the Catechism (p.882). Hope enables us to desire and expect eternal life with God (CCC #1817), as we humbly and trustingly await the return of the Lord Jesus in glory (CCC #840).

A story is told of a photographer taking a picture. He says to the woman, "Smile pretty for the camera." A moment later, "OK, madam, you can resume your usual face." Whether you and I will have a successful Advent these next four weeks will depend on the attitude or “face” we bring to it today. We must stay awake, as Jesus advises us in the Gospel and practice self-control.  The Greek philosopher, Plato, who lived out his life several centuries before Christ, wrote, "The greatest victory in the world is the victory of self-conquest."

Have a fruitful Advent!

In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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St. Bernadette Catholic Church