Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’Gospel for the 1st Sunday of Advent, Year C
We hear this gospel passage at a time when there is political and social uncertainty; and fear and anger are engendered by this insecurity.
Such circumstances fret at the fabric of society – not that said fabric is especially strong and resistant even at the best of times. Society has a tendency to degrade and atomise when there is a sense of risk and danger, and when there is opportunity to make a quick buck for yourself or yours.
Over the coming year Luke speaks of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of the Kingdom, and of the community forced in faith and grateful response to the love of God.
Maybe we will find remedy in a daily Advent reading from the Gospel of Luke – a chapter a day will be available on our sister Blog, Prayer from the Catholic Tradition.
Stained glass image of St Luke, Lichfield Cathedral. (c) 2017, Allen Morris.