First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent

Today’s Gospel: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36 (see the READINGS button in the app)

Dismay, confusion, fear – these are emotions we know well. Perhaps Jesus’ words to his disciples strike an eerily fitting/relevant/pertinent chord in light of recent events in Paris, Syria, and even the United States. All over the world nations seem to be in “dismay,” even perplexed by what so often seem to be such hopeless and senseless situations. It is difficult to imagine in the face of such violence and chaos that we will see the Son of Man coming in “power and great glory.”

But today’s readings remind us that it is precisely in these “signs” of hopelessness and fear that we must be most prepared for the coming of our savior. They remind us that even now, amidst present fears and turmoil, the Son of Man is coming – indeed he has come. And we need to hear this, do we not? The “anxieties of daily life” can cause our hearts to become drowsy, less than sensitive to the truths and mysteries proclaimed by the Gospel through the Church day in and day out. Let us hear them well, that we may be “vigilant at all times,” and let us pray that we have the strength to stand before the Son of Man with the chaos swirling harmlessly around us. Only in Christ will we find our refuge, will we be “safe and dwell secure,” as our First Reading tells us.

In those moments when we feel as though the “powers of the heavens are shaken,” we can stand erect and raise our heads, because our redemption is at hand.

Copyright  Anthony J. Oleck

Anthony Oleck is currently pursuing his Master of Theological Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is also Assistant Rector of Fisher Hall, and Managing Editor for the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy blog, Oblation.