Thought of the day
Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Sunday of Advent

"Be vigilant and pray that you have the strength... to stand before the Son of Man" (Lk 21,36)

This season of Advent represents the two comings of the Lord: in the first place, the sweetest coming of “the fairest of the children of men” (Ps 45[44],3) of the “Desired of all nations” (Hg 2,8 Vg), of that Son of God who has visibly manifested his long-awaited presence in the flesh to the world, so ardently desired by all our holy forefathers. This is the coming whereby he came into the world to save sinners. But this season also calls to mind the coming we are waiting for with certain hope and should often remember with tears: that which will take place when the same Lord appears manifestly in his glory...: that is to say, on the day of judgement when he will come openly to judge. The first coming was known only to few, but in the second he will manifest himself to the just and to sinners, as the prophet declares: “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Is 40,5; Lk 3,6)...

So let us follow the example of those holy forefathers, dearest brethren; let us relive their desire and kindle our minds with love and desire for Christ. As you know well, the celebration of this season was instituted to renew that desire within us that the fathers of old had for the first coming of the Lord and so that, through their example, we might also learn to long for his return. Think of all the good our Lord accomplished for our sakes at his first coming. How much more will he not accomplish when he comes again! This thought will make us love all the more his former coming and all the more desire his return...

If we would experience peace at his future coming, let us strive to welcome his former coming with faith and love. Let us remain faithfully in those works he made known to us and taught us then. Let us nurture love for our Lord in our hearts and, through love, desire, so that when the Desired of the nations comes we may look on him in all confidence.