Thought of the day
Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday of the Second week of Advent

Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop Sermon CC 61a; PL 57, 233

Friday of the Second week of Advent

Commentary of the day 

Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop Sermon CC 61a; PL 57, 233

"Answering God’s call to repent from the depths of our hearts"

Even without my needing to speak to you about it, my brethren, the season is enough to tell us that the anniversary of the Nativity of Christ our Lord draws near. Creation itself is expressing the imminence of an event that will restore everything for the better. It, too, looks forward to seeing its darkness illumined by a ray of sun even more bright than usual. This expectancy in creation of a renewal of its annual cycle invites us to wait for the birth of the new sun that is Christ, who lights up the darkness of our sins. The sun of justice (Mal 3,20), which is about to appear in all its strength, will cast out the darkness of our sins, already too long in continuance. He will not allow the course of our life to be stifled by the shadows of existence; he wants to expand it by his power.

So, just as creation sheds its light more widely during this time of solstice, let us also manifest our justice. Just as the light of this day is the common good of both rich and poor, let our gifts be extended to travellers and to the poor without reserve. At this time of the year the world holds back the duration of darkness; so let us, too, withdraw the shadows of our avarice… May all the ice in our hearts melt away; may the seeds of justice grow, warmed by the Saviour’s rays.

Therefore, brethren, let us prepare ourselves to welcome the day of the Lord’s birth by clothing ourselves in garments of shining whiteness. I am referring to those that clothe the soul, not the body. The garment that clothes our body is only a tunic of no value. But it is the body, that precious object, which clothes the soul. The former is woven by human hands; the latter is the work of the hands of God. This is why we must attend with the greatest care to preserving God’s work from any spot… Let us purify our consciences from all their stains before the Nativity of the Lord. Let us come before him, not clothed in silk, but rather in works of merit… Let us begin, then, by decorating our interior sanctuary.a