Power to Love
After the feast of Christ the King (21 November), we are celebrating the first sunday of Advent on 28 November. In traditional Catholic language, one is the last sunday of the liturgical year and the other denotes the beginning of a new liturgical year. The meaning of Advent is “coming”, which has a double sense. When it is the preparation for the Christmas, it is also the preparation for the second coming of Jesus.
The gospel reading of the first sunday of Advent (in all the liturgical cycles, called A, B, C) calls for a vigilance or attentiveness.
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. (Luke 21, 36).
So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. (Mathew 24, 44).
Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. (Mark 13, 33).
The aspect of preparation is very much there, and can’t be neglected from any sense. But for whom is the waiting? Is it for God of power or God of love? An immediate critique can that God is of infinite love and power; you may be spot on; but
Jesus’ life shows that Power, founded, irrigated and nourished by love, becomes service.
This is further evident from the gospel readings of Christ the King (for all the three liturgical circles). It never speaks about a king in earthly style with absolute power (John 18:33B-37 or Luke 23:35–43). But it speaks of a parable which says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Mathew 25, 31–46).
Can advent be an invitation to change our images of God who is present in the other, in the form of love and not of power?