Today’s Gospel seems to be misplaced for the First Sunday of Advent. The Gospel from Matthew, is taken from Jesus’ description of the Apocalypse. Why would we have this sort of Gospel on the First Sunday of Advent? We often think of Advent as Christmas shopping season. The theological issues and themes that the Church wants us to focus on, too often escapes us. While there is nothing wrong with preparing for the celebration of Christmas, this Apocalyptic description by Jesus, helps us frame the point, the reason, the consequences and the goal of Christmas.
We are reminded that the story of Christmas is far more than the birth of the child Jesus. It is the beginning of the historical time of God’s physical presence on earth. The consequences of this birth, will reach its fulfillment in the end times. As Jesus describes, when the end times comes, all the consequences of the Birth of God and the effects of those who reject God’s invitation will come to bare. The Jesus project will be completed when the faithful take their place before the Lamb’s heavenly throne and evil will be destroyed forever.
Read through Paul’s reading from Colossians. What is known as the Canticle of Colossians or the Song of Colossians, is a very concise theological explanation of the Christ becoming the image of the invisible God.
As we begin the Advent season let’s not get too caught up in the commercial side of Christmas, nor focus solely on the birth of Christ. Let’s also keep in mind the reason for the season, it’s effects and consequences.