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The coming of the Son of Man!

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - December 2, 2018 - 12:00am

Today is the First Sunday of Advent and a new liturgy has started with violet as the official color which brings us hope. Last Sunday was the last time we had the Liturgy C and the end of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Life. Advent is the time when Christians are asked to prepare themselves for the coming of the Messiah. This means preparing our souls to meet the Son of God who will be born on December 25, Christmas Day. Today’s gospel is found on Luke 21:25-28,34-36

 

“25 There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

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Two Sundays ago, the gospel reading was similar to today’s gospel reading on the Coming of the Son of Man. But that came from Mark 13:24-32. However Luke 21:25-28,34-36 reads: “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Call it strange that reading today’s gospel should prepare us for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ when what Luke teaches in today’s gospel is to prepare mankind for the Second Coming. The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word “parousia.” Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus.

However by the 6th century, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas. So this tradition explains why the Catholic Church uses the second coming of Christ to prepare Christians for his coming birthday on December 25.

Today’s season of Advent lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. At that time, the new Christian year begins with the 12-day celebration of Christmastide, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6. (Advent begins on Sunday that falls between November 27th and December 3rd each year.) Also this year the Catholic Church celebrates the Year of the Youth! I’m really glad that the Catholic Church is now focused on the Year of the Youth because if you recall, our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal said: “The youth is the hope of the fatherland!”

If there is any single victim of the illegal drug trade, it is our youth. Drug pushers have targeted the youth to be victimized by illegal drugs so their future is already destroyed before they grow up. With the Catholic Church having the Year of the Youth, we just hope that they would help the government in linking this cancer in our society and restore our youth to a better future!

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

SON OF MAN
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