On this last day before Advent, we read from Luke’s gospel of Jesus’ warning to his disciples to be vigilant until the day of the second coming of the Son of Man.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”
What is the purpose of reading this eschatological passage just before we begin our preparation for the birth of the Lord? We read it because we need to understand the totality of the mission of Jesus. Jesus came first to complete his mission of salvation that remits the payment for our sinfulness. He accomplished this through his passion, death and resurrection. But the resurrection is not the end of the story. Jesus also promises that he will come again, and in doing so will judge the living and the dead. Once that occurs, the just will inherit the earth.
Jesus is King, now and in the age to come.