First Sunday of Advent - Year C
The two comings of the Lord
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say: Rejoice !” (Phil 4,4). A double joy motivated by a double blessing: the first and the second coming. We should rejoice because, at his first coming, the Lord brought riches and glory to us. We should rejoice again because, at his second coming, he will give us “length of days forever and ever” (Ps 20,5). As the Book of Proverbs says: “Long life is in her right hand, in her left are riches and honor” (Ps 20,5). The left hand is the first coming with its splendid riches: humility and poverty, patience and obedience. The right hand is the second coming with eternal life.
Isaiah speaks about the first coming in these words: “Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake as in the days of old, in ages long ago. Was it not you who crushed Rahab, you who pierced the dragon? Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over?” (51,9-10). The arm of the Lord is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, through whom and in whom God created all things… O arm of the Lord, O Son of god, awake! Come to us from the Father’s glory, assuming our flesh. Clothe yourself with the strength of divinity to do battle against the “prince of this world” (Jn 12,31) and “to cast out the strong one”, you who are “stronger than he” (Lk 11,21-22). Awake to redeem humankind as in days of old you delivered the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt... You dried up the Red Sea; what you did then you will do again…, as you made the way in the depths of hell for the redeemed to pass through.
Saint Anthony of Padua