1st Sunday of Advent – C
Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36
Theologians say that God is an event! Because God is a trinity, he comes to us in a Trinitarian event! He is totally transcendent and yet he reveals himself to us in a historical context hence God’s self-revelation is a historical event! To say God is an event is not to depersonalize nor stripping him of the divine being but rather to see the dynamism of his being as he interacts with the world.
As we open the new liturgical calendar this Sunday with the season of Advent, let us reflect on the word “coming” as found in the three readings this Sunday. First Reading: “See, the days are coming…” Second Reading: “…when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints. Gospel: “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and greater glory.”
The pervading spirit of Advent is the spirituality of waiting. But what/who do we wait for? Why should we wait? We wait for a reality that is absent and is about to come. Precisely Advent is a season of waiting because God is coming. We wait for him not because he is absent but because in this season, we enter into a cosmic time where we re-live a past event and make it present. Yes God has indeed come in the person of Jesus Christ! This is the whole content of divine revelation! God in the past being transcendent was distant but now in Jesus Christ has become immanent since he has come in the present. This is the mystery of the Incarnation which the season of Advent opens its door to for us to contemplate.
We are still waiting for him because Jesus did not just come in the past and as if we are re-living his memory in remembrance. He continuously comes because he is always in the present. Theologically we say, he is not only begotten by the Father in eternity but continuous to be begotten in the “eternal now”. And because this begetting finds its locus in the historical context, we also experience a continuous re-birthing in our waiting. Jesus lifted up the veil that concealed the face of God hence we enter into the truth (aletheia) of the revelation. The apocalyptic images that we encounter in the readings signal the destruction of the old order to give way to the re-birthing of creation brought about by the coming of God.
Advent is here and it opens a sacred door that leads us to encounter God in his many surprises. Because his coming shatters our image of the divine beyond our expectations, he invites to be always vigilant in the many ways of his self-revelation. Sometimes he comes in pain, thick darkness and even in death; he also comes in joy and in the ordinariness of life.
Advent beckons us to embrace God in Jesus who continuous to come in the forgotten and dirty peripheries of life to bring the gifts of the Kingdom to the poorest of the poor. It also invites us encounter him in the Eucharistic crib in celebrating his begetting and our re-birthing together.