« I will raise up for David a just shoot » (Jr 33, 14-16).
(Ps 24 (25), 4-5ab, 8-9, 10.14)
R/ To you, O Lord, I lift my soul. (Ps 24, 1b-2)
« May God strengthen your hearts for the comming of Jesus our Lord» (1 Th 3, 12 – 4, 2)
« Your redemption is at hand » (Lc 21, 25-28.34-36)
On this first Sunday of Advent, we begin a new liturgical year, year C of a three-year cycle. This year will be dedicated to reading the Gospel according to Saint Luke, a gospel that I have always loved very much. Among the synoptic gospels, Mark’s is direct, almost abrupt; for him, Jesus is the suffering servant, rejected and misunderstood. Matthew’s gospel is formal, well rooted in his Jewish world; in his eyes, Jesus is the new Moses who
came to fulfill the Law. Luke’s is meant to speak to the Greek culture, attentive to the beauty and compassion of Jesus, the great prophet who proclaims a word of grace. This is the Jesus we will contemplate throughout the Sundays of Year C.
We can catch a glimpse of that distinct Lucan touch in today's excerpt which records the apocalyptic discourse of Jesus. Luke quotes a saying of Jesus omitted by other evangelists: “When these events begin, straighten yourselves up and lift up your head, for your redemption draws near. "And again, at the end of the excerpt, he adds these words: "So you will have the strength ... to stand before the Son of man. "
These encouraging words are typical of the Jesus Luke likes to present. At the heart of this terrible announcement, he is encouraging and compassionate for the fragile beings that we are. Jesus does not hide that the end of time will be difficult, but he invites us to see it as a moment of hope. He invites his disciples not to fall in fear, but to straighten up and raise their heads, to "stand up!" "
Knowing that Jesus is close to us allows us not to be overwhelmed by the daily challenges that beset us individually or that shake the world. We are men and women of hope who keep moving forward despite everything. May this advent be a time for us to straighten up and raise our heads. Let us be full of this courage, for we know that our Redeemer is near.
+ Paul-André Durocher