This year the Gospel readings every Sunday are from Luke. Today's scene takes place in Jerusalem, in front of the Temple on the last day of ministry in Jesus' journey to the Cross.
The themes of the Advent Season:
In each of the four Sunday of Advent there is a similar theme in each of the three liturgical years. Week one, the theme is a reflection on the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Coming of a Messiah. Week two and three give us a study of John the Baptist over each of the three years and week four introduces us to Mary, the Mother of the Lord.
Week One: Jeremiah and Daniel are the prophets.
The language of the Gospel passage is Old Testament and apocalyptic, based on the Book of Daniel. It would be well known to Luke's listeners but foreign to us. It is part of one whole chapter warning of the Fall of Jerusalem and the Second Coming of the Lord. Luke's Gospel is written after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. It is written in times of persecution and terror. The call to stay awake is much like our call today to be aware and not alarmed. Bad things happen and will happen. "Hold your heads high because your liberation is at hand."
Happy New Year to all as we prepare for the Christmas Season.