Dearest parishioners and friends,
The “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23), St. John, in closing the Book of Revelation (22:20), cries out: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! This ought to be the leitmotif of our lives, which we cry out in a special way during Advent. Indeed, we are being attracted—whether we feel it or not—by the Lord who comes to us in myriad ways, and “who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and whose kingdom will have no end” (Nicene Creed).
For a few Advent weeks now, we have been preparing our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ Frist Coming at Christmas, a celebration which intensifies the thirst in us for Jesus’ Second (definitive) Coming, when “all things are subjected to him…so that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28). Then will divine love and divine light prevail. How hope-ful we are as disciples of such a Lord, as friends of the Word made flesh. Indeed, we have been given the gift of divine hope, which is much more than naïve optimism, which turns us towards “Him who is coming with the clouds” (Revelation 1:7). Speaking of Whom, note what St. Thomas Aquinas says, in trying to understand the symbolism of coming “with the clouds”: “The cloud, on account of its refreshing influence, signifies the mercy of the judge.” Our celebration of Christmas, of the First Coming of Christ, ought to prepare us for the Second Coming of Christ, which is all about refreshing mercy. As St. John also tells us in the Book of Revelation (21:4-5),
God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away. The one who is seated on the throne says, “Behold, I am making all things new”.
This is so important for us to bear in mind and heart, in faith, for the holidays can be a challenging time for some of us. We cannot help but have expectations of peace and harmony, but are painfully aware of brokenness or loss. And we find ourselves longing for wholeness and healing and presence that seem elusive. The Lord is nonetheless present. Indeed, our longing beckons His coming, and He is coming…
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Respectfully in Christ,
From the desk of the Rector