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by Sister Sally Ann Brickner
Early Christians experienced sadness after Christ's Ascension,
and longed for Him to reappear in all His glory. They remembered
Christ's promise to return and anticipated that His Second Coming
was imminent. Surely it would happen in their lifetime, and
therefore they watched and waited eagerly.
Today, many people believe that wars, natural disasters, diseases and other catastrophes fulfill certain prophesies about the End Time and Jesus's Second Coming. Like the early disciples they expect that Christ will soon reappear, perhaps even within their lifetime.
Jesus does invite us to be watchful, to be alert to His manifestation. However, we know that His coming is not a future event but an ever-present reality. Jesus is both within and among us even though He hides His face from us. During this time of Advent we "wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:7). Will we see Him disguised in those who are poor, who are hungry, who are suffering, who are ignorant, whom we consider to be our enemies? We need to be attentive, watchful, and alert for Christ who is among us even now.
"Grant your faithful, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at His coming." (from the collect for the 1st Sunday of Advent. ©2010 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.)
I have found your reflection to be very timely and thought provoking.. I have also learned the importance of allowing others to minister to me. Being fiercely independent and rejecting righteous efforts of others when in need can become automatic response. Even though I would rather give than be given to I now know accepting can be spiritually enriching to both!
Thank you for reminding us to see Jesus' hidden face in those we meet.