COMMENTARY ON THE READING OF THE DAY: 30 NOVEMBER, 2014

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Pierre de Blois

(c.1130-1211),Archdeacon in England

Sermon 3 for Advent

The three advents of Christ

There are three advents of the Lord: the first in the flesh, the second in the soul, the third at the judgement. The first took place at midnight according to these words of the Gospel: “At midnight a cry was heard: The Bridegroom is here!” (Mt 25,6).

This first advent has already happened since Christ has been seen on earth and has spoken with men (Bar 3,38).

Now we are in the second advent, provided we are such that he can thus come to us, since he said that, if we love him, he will come to us and make his home in us (Jn 14,23).

This second advent is therefore something mingled with uncertainty, since who other but the Holy Spirit knows who is God’s? (1Cor 2,11).

Those whose longing for heavenly things transports them out of themselves know well when he comes; however, they “do not know where he comes from or where he is going” (Jn 3,8).

As for the third advent: it is most certain that it will happen, most uncertain when it will happen.

For there is nothing more certain than death, nothing less certain than the day of our death.

“It is when people are saying: ‘peace and security’ that death comes upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and none will be able to escape it” (cf. 1Thes 5,3).

Thus the first advent was lowly and hidden; the second is mysterious and full of love; the third will be dazzling and terrible.

In his first advent Christ was judged unjustly by men; in the second, he grants us justice by his grace; in the last, he will judge all things with equity: Lamb in the first advent; Lion in the last; our most gentle Friend in the second.

READING OF THE DAY: 30 NOVEMBER, 2014

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“Be watchful!

Be alert!

You do not know when the time will come.

It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.

Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.

May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.

What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”” -Mark 13:33-37.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 30 NOVEMBER, 2014

Saint Andrew

Apostle
(† First century)

Saint Andrew

        St. Andrew was one of the fishermen of Bethsaida, and brother, perhaps elder brother, of St. Peter, and became a disciple of St. John Baptist.

He seemed always eager to bring others into notice; when called himself by Christ on the banks of the Jordan, his first thought was to go in search of his brother, and he said, “We have found the Messiah,” and he brought him to Jesus.

It was he again who, when Christ wished to feed the five thousand in the desert, pointed out the little lad with the five loaves and fishes.

St. Andrew went forth upon his mission to plant the faith in Scythia and Greece, and at the end of years of toil to win a martyr’s crown.

After suffering a cruel scourging at Patræ in Achaia, he was left, bound by cords, to die upon a cross.

When St. Andrew first caught sight of the gibbet on which he was to die, he greeted the precious wood with joy.

“O good cross! ” he cried, “made beautiful by the limbs of Christ, so long desired, now so happily found! Receive me into thy arms and present me to my Master, that He Who redeemed me through thee may now accept me from thee.”

Two whole days the martyr remained hanging on this cross alive, preaching, with outstretched arms from this chair of truth, to all who came near, and entreating them not to hinder his passion.
(SOURCE: Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894])