Pope Francis today reflected on three “visits” of Christ Our Lord, saying that we must be ever prepared for this guest who will come unexpectedly.
The Pope spoke of this theme today, on this first Sunday of Advent, before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The first of Our Lord’s visits happened in the Incarnation, the Holy Father said; the second visit is “in the present” as the Lord “visits us continually every day, he journeys at our side and is a consoling presence.”
“And,” the Pope continued, “at the end will be the last visit, which we profess each time we recite the Creed, ‘He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.’”
The Gospel of today’s Mass tells us of this last visit, Francis noted, as it “highlights the contrast between the normal development of things and the daily routine and the sudden arrival of the Lord.”
“The Gospel doesn’t want to make us afraid, but rather to open our horizons to the final, greater dimension, that relativizes everyday things and at the same time, makes them valuable and decisive. A relationship with the God who comes to visit us gives a distinct light, a weight, a symbolic value, to everything,” the Pope said.
This perspective brings an “invitation to sobriety,” he added, and the warning to keep the things of this world in their proper perspective, that is, to govern them and not allow them to govern us.
If we fail to do this, “we cannot perceive that there is something much more important: our final encounter with the Lord who comes for us,” the Pope said.
We have to learn that we cannot depend on earthly securities, Francis reminded. The Lord is coming, and he comes “to introduce us into a dimension that is greater and more beautiful.”
The Holy Father concluded by drawing attention to Mary’s role in Advent: “Our Lady, the Virgin of Advent, helps us to not consider ourselves the owners of our lives, to not resist when the Lord comes to change our lives, but to be ready to allow ourselves to be visited by Him, this delightful and awaited guest, even though He will dismantle our plans.”
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