Friends, today’s Gospel reminds us to be prepared as we await the Lord’s coming again.
I don’t think it is the least bit accidental that when Paul wrote back to the community at Thessalonika (the earliest Christian document we have), his major motif was the end of the world as we know it and the longing for Christ to come to remake the cosmos.
When Paul speaks in that text of Christ arriving on the clouds and the Christians going up to meet him in the air, he is not predicting a great escape from the world of matter; rather, he is envisioning a welcome committee of believers moving out to escort into the world its new King.
The entire Bible ends on a note not so much of triumph and completion as longing and expectation: “Come, Lord Jesus.” From the very beginning of the Christian dispensation, followers of the risen Jesus have been waiting. Paul, Augustine, Chrysostom, Agnes, Thomas Aquinas, Clare, Francis, John Henry Newman, and Simone Weil have all waited for the second coming and have hence all been Advent people.
During this season, let us join them, turning our eyes and hearts upward and praying, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
Reflect: Would you describe yourself as an “Advent person”? Why or why not?