I looked at today's readings at the site of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I like to go to the traditional Advent source, the Catholic Church, regarding the church year and lectionary because it's not trendy. Not "themes" based on some acronym or some exciting new program, just the pattern the church has developed and used over centuries--the basics. The Gospel passage is an apocryphal discourse by our Lord. I seem to think that the first Sunday is often so. Advent relives the waiting for the Christ but also lives into the ongoing wait for the parousia.
(My spell-checker does not recognize either lectionary or parousia. Well, parousia is a Greek word. And I suppose lectionary is a Latin word, except if it were truly Latin I don't think it would end with a y.)
It is easy to be sentimental about the first coming, but the second coming tends to terrify. Yet I think the immanence of Christ's return was a comfort rather than a fear for early Christians. "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again." This is a very early saying of Christians. But one must be assured of one's salvation--and we should be. Even in his discourse about people dying of fright and nations in dismay, the Lord tells his disciples that at that moment "your redemption is at hand."
Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.
|They will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.|