a biblical reflection, based on Luke 21.25-36, for the 1st Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2015
How odd it is that Advent, the Christian season heralding the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus, begins with a story foretelling the end of time. Abiding at the heart of this seeming irony, I perceive a truth: Life is a continuous cycle of beginnings and endings, mornings and evenings, dawns and twilights, within which ever rests joy and sorrow, triumph and defeat, good and evil. Because of this, Jesus calls us to be alert, always and in all ways.
We are called to be active contemplatives, reading astutely the signs of the ebb and flow of the life of the world around us and of the movements of thought and feeling, memory and reflection, intention and action within us, and then to be contemplative actors, reacting prudently, responding faithfully.
What prudent faithfulness means for any of us in the concrete circumstances of the living of our days, I cannot, I dare not say. For me, as a follower of Jesus, I believe it is my calling to incarnate, to embody love, unconditional benevolence to all, and justice, right and fair dealing with all. In this, my calling is nothing else than to make immanent, tangibly real and present (given my humanness, however imperfectly), a transcendent God. And, in this, my calling is nothing less than to take part in the apocalyptic act – especially for the sake of all who sense an absence and long to know the presence of God in their lives – of lifting the veil, however slightly, that covers the face of the holy, always wholly unfathomable God.