Pastoral Thought





            Advent signifies the coming of Christ. Today the liturgy dwells on his Second Coming. This evokes “Glory”,  “Judgment of the Living and Dead”, “A New Creation”, “The Life of the World to Come”. These phrases tend to be very positive. Even “Judgment” in biblical language can mean “Vindication” or “Liberation”.

            For the first and second generation of Christian the most real event of Jesus life was his second coming, not his earthly life, or birth. They weren’t wrong. For you and me, his birth, death and resurrection are past events even though we have a real present experience of them by our union with Jesus in the Church and the sacraments.

            Advent Week One also has a vivid sense of ultimate justice being accomplished for the whole human race. It also includes a sense of God’s people as being pardoned and restored thru God’s compassionate intervention to transform our sinful state to a holiness/justice. Cf. Psalm 80: “Lord make us turn to You; let us see your face and be saved.”

            So I would like you to understand Advent as a time to meditate on God’s restoration of fallen humanity to a just, worthy, holy state. The acts of kindness we do in Advent, the special attention we give to dear ones, but also the poor; can be done as a part of this Advent movement.

            When you light Advent candles or add straw to the crèche on your table, think of this. We are preparing for Christ to bring justice to the earth.

Father John Hynes