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.