Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man. – Luke 21:36
The word “advent” stems from the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming, arrival.” One of the great themes spiritual themes of Advent is that we are awaiting the Lord Jesus, awaiting not only his coming to us at Christmas, but his coming again in glory at the end of time.
Today’s Gospel gives us some details about that coming. Luke writes, “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
We are reminded, then, by the evangelist, that we must be prepared for this coming. The season of Advent is a time to make our souls ready, to be reminded that we must keep vigil. We must conduct ourselves as if his coming were imminent, for indeed, one day we will stand before the Son of Man!
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.