Today is a joyful day in the Lord! It is the beginning of Advent, a time of anticipation and reflection as we await the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to bring forth a “righteous Branch to spring up for David:” The fulfillment of God’s promise to his people - of deliverance - so they may be saved and live in safety.
It is also a joyful day in the Lord because we welcome three people into our community - as they continue their journey in the Lord. We welcome Cameron into the order of Catechumens. We also welcome Maya and Christian as candidates for full reception into the Church. These three people have responded to God’s continuing call through the Holy Spirit in their hearts - to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord and with our community. As it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a Christian community to instruct and guide those who seek the Lord in love and hope to follow in the way of our savior, Jesus Christ.
It may seem odd that we begin this Advent season with this selection from Luke’s gospel. Jesus reminds his disciples of the end times, - where the heavens and the earth will show signs of impending destruction. Nations will be thrown into confusion and people will faint with fear for what is coming into the world.
In the midst of all these things happening they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great power and glory. It is then that “the righteous will stand and raise up their heads because their redemption will be near”.
Those who live in fear and dread of these happenings are those who live lives of dissipation and drunkenness. They are those who worry only about the things of this world and life in the here and now. They cannot imagine what God has promised to those who love Him – Redemption, Salvation and Life eternal: God’s promise of his kingdom to come through his Son, Jesus Christ
We pray that we have the strength and courage to withstand the temptations of this world, so we may be counted among the righteous. We pray that we continue to follow what we have been taught in our Lord Jesus: that we love God above all things and love one another as we love ourselves. And in that love, we continue to guide and instruct others in the way of the Lord, so that all His children may gain eternal life and live with Him forever and ever.
As a Christian community, we are charged with spreading the gospel to all we meet in the world and to welcome the stranger among us. The Lord directs us to lead other onto the path of righteousness, guiding and instructing them in His ways, so that they too may realize God’s promise and gain Life eternal.
So when the heavens and earth shake and tremble and we see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, we may all stand together; raising up our heads to be recognized among the righteous.
Deacon Don Ron