First Thursday of Advent

Mark 13:24-37

Reflection—v.30, ‘…until these things have come to pass.’

When we speak of Advent, there are three ways in which we must keep watch for God’s coming.  First, Advent is the liturgical season that leads us to Christmas.  Naturally, then, we tend to focus on that first Advent: Christ’s coming among us, born of a virgin, nailed upon a cross.  But Advent also calls us, especially in the readings of these first weeks, to keep a watchful eye upon what we often call the Second Coming, for our faith declares with great hope, ‘he will come again.’  But we would be wrong to close off God’s coming to us into times, whether past or future, that are marked off a little too neatly from our present.  The truth is, God comes to us everyday and in all things.  This may be the most important sense of Advent for us, what we at Mercy call God’s ‘always Advent.’  This is the one, that like Jesus’ contemporaries, so often catches us off guard and unprepared.  Might it be that ‘these things come to pass’ for us, even now?

Prayer  Oh, God of our hope and longing, God of wondrous Advent, help me to be open to all the ways you come to us, even in this very moment.