On this first Sunday of Advent we begin a new liturgical year, Year C of our three-year cycle of Sunday Scriptures. This year many of our Sunday Scriptures will be from the Gospel of Luke. Today’s Lukan Gospel passage sounds frightening. Luke’s Gospel was written around the year 85 C.E. (Christian Era), after Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Romans and the first of the sporadic persecutions of Christians had taken place. One of Luke’s Gospel themes is that the Kingdom of God trumps the kingdom of the Roman emperors; the kingdoms of this world are being destroyed, and the Son of Man is coming in a cloud. Luke’s reference is to the book of Daniel. “His dominion is an everlasting dominion … his kingship shall not be destroyed”(Dan 7:14). How shall we hear this message today? We don’t know what this year will bring. We can be certain, however, that there will be “persecutions” in it because troubles are part of life. Jesus warned his disciples to be prepared for tough times, for “persecutions,” especially those asking us to live our faith explicitly in some difficult way. As we wait during Advent, we pray for fortitude to bear what life will bring this year, but we also pray with confidence, knowing that we will not be destroyed.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia