Scripture: Lectionary 508. Sat. Dec.1. Advent begins with Vespers (Evening Prayer). Revelation 22:1-7. Psalm 95:1-2.3-5.6-7. Luke 21:34-36
We end our liturgical readings with the positive last chapter of Revelation. The context of the whole chapter is the city of the divine life or heaven. We all can look at what John’s vision of heaven is and compare it to our own way of picturing heaven. Maybe our will not be as complicated and colorful as that of the visionary of Revelation. We join in the famous words of this book MARANA THA (Come, Lord Jesus, Come). It is very in tune with the beginning of Advent in year three of the liturgical calendar. Though we will have special readings for each day of Advent, we may wish to pay particular attention to Luke’s Gospel which is featured this year of the three year cycle.
Our responsorial Psalm is also used as an invitatory for the Office of the Church or the Liturgy of the Hours which begin with the invitatory and then with three psalms and readings selected for this season of Advent. This Psalm praises the God of all creation and also depicts God as a shepherd who is concerned for the people who are called the flock of God. We are to bow in reverence to our Creator and to praise and glorify God’s Name (Person). Let us therefore greet God with thanksgiving and sing joyful songs to the Lord.
Jesus encourages us to be watchful and aware of his coming. We do this with the vision of both the Second Coming as well as his historical coming in the Incarnation at Christmas. In the Second Coming (the Parousia) we call Jesus the Son of Man as does the Book of Revelation. In his first coming we join the earliest Gospel that of Mark and call Jesus the son of Mary of Nazareth in Galilee. Our readings and hymns will be keeping us hearing of both comings of the Lord. We are certainly being prepared by these liturgical readings for the beginning of Advent which starts this evening. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
We may wish to gather around an Advent wreath with a hymn and a blessing. The wreath will remind us of our own part in salvation history. Each day this wreath may be a place to offer a prayer before meals or simply as a reminder that the Lord is near. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.