Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
On the first Sunday of Advent, the liturgy is concerned with our preparation for the return of Christ at the end of time. TheGospel reading today is a portion of Jesus’ words concerning that time. He tells us to see the events of history as signs of the approaching end and to recognize that end as the coming of our redemption.
The Old Testament reading today from the prophet Jeremiah looks forward to the time when God will fulfill the promise of a successor to David. The New Testament Christians understood the“righteous Branch” of David’s line to be our Lord Jesus Christ.
The second reading is from Paul’s first Thessalonian letter. His letters to that church were prompted by difficulties in that congregation due to their misunderstanding of the Lord’s promise to return. In today’s reading, Paul encourages the Thessalonians to see their ministry and mutual love as the way to prepare for the Lord’s return.
There is an “already, but not yet” aspect to the New Testament’s discussion of the Lord’s return. God’s kingdom is not limited to a time in the far off future; it began breaking into human history in Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Lord comes to judge and to save in each moment in the life of his people. Above all, he is revealed in our encounter with him in the Eucharistic meal.