December 2012

Br. Kevin Andrew, O.P.'s picture

Freedom for Witness

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We recently celebrated the final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Solemnity of Christ the King. On this day the readings focus on the freedom that we have been given in Christ. I examine this freedom as it is expressed in the second reading (Revelation 1:5-8), and what this freedom means for us today.

Br. Bradley Thomas Elliott, O.P.'s picture

The Lord is Coming

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As we celebrated the first day of Advent, I was called to reflect on the meaning of the Lord's coming. The readings for the Holy Mass were not what one might expect; they were not geared towards our Lord's coming as an infant. Instead, they were directed towards the final coming of Jesus at the end of time. The readings were marked by a gloom and doom that some might even find troubling as we begin this season of Hope and Joy. What is the reason for this?

It is indeed true that this season ought to be marked by hope and joyful anticipation of the Incarnation of the Son of God. But this is a joy totally unlike the earthly joy that often accompanies our temporal festivities. Our Christian Hope is not the hope of this present age -- this present world which will one day be passing away. No. Our hope, being the theological virtue that has God as its object, is focused like a laser beam on the world to come; the awesome promise we have in Jesus Christ -- that we will one day see God as He is in Himself, and, in that one perfect vision, be completely fulfilled. This is not a promise that can ever be realized in this life; it can never be achieved by a natural process or the exercise of our natural powers. This requires the grace of God given to us as a pure gift. This is the promise we hold by faith and it is only attainable by Grace.

This is the great meaning of the apocalyptic readings of today's liturgy. The meaning of Christ's coming as an infant in Bethlehem is only understood in the full light of that final coming at the end of time, when all will be complete, all will be subject to Christ, and Christ will be all-in-all. This is not yet a reality. But it is coming. We must stay vigilant. We must watch. We must keep ourselves prepared for the Lord who might come at any time. 

We do not know for sure when the Lord will come; no one knows the day or the hour. But one thing we do know for sure: THERE WILL BE A DAY AND AN HOUR OF HIS COMING! This is the truth that we must constantly keep before our eyes. As we progress through this awesome season of Advent, I pray that this reality will be realized in all of our lives.

Let us keep waiting!

Let us keep watching!

Stay vigilant!

The Lord is coming!