Engaging the Gospel – First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent (Year C): Gospel – Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

As we begin Advent, today’s Gospel reminds us of a significant point about this liturgical season. We’re not only preparing to celebrate the birth of Our Lord at Christmas, but also preparing to meet Christ when He comes again.

Jesus emphasizes the upheavals that will take place in the last days, and warns us to “be vigilant at all times and pray” so that we may not be caught off guard.

The Catechism picks up the theme:

Before Christ’s second coming, the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the mystery of iniquity in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth (paragraph 675).

God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world (677).

Then through His Son Jesus Christ He will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which His Providence led everything towards its final end (1040).

Question for reflection: How does my faith help me through troubling times?