The Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday Cycle C of the 1st Week of Advent is Luke 21:25-28, 34-36.

Preparing His disciples for the coming turmoil, Christ has declared the Temple would be utterly destroyed, there would be “wars and tumults”, earth upheavals would occur, false messiahs will rise, families will turn on each other and that Jerusalem will be annihilated. Christ now describes even greater cosmic cataclysms and warns men to be spiritually prepared. 

Christ turns to His Second Coming, a separate revelation that has yet to come to pass. After the Fall of Jerusalem, even greater distress will come upon the entire world (heaven, land, sea): the heavens will give strange signs; distress for nations on land and raging seas. Despite the trauma in the world, Christians will find joy in at the Second Coming of Christ on the clouds of Heaven for their “redemption is drawing near.” 

To help men endure the unavoidable catastrophes, Christ warns men to take heed (to be extremely cautious or wary).  Rather than falling into dissipation (confusion), drunkenness or anxiety, Christ urges men to be sober and to joyfully anticipate salvation (v. 2). He urges men to vigilantly prepare for the sudden Judgment which comes to all men, likening it to a hidden trap (a snare) that violently and quickly closes a noose around an animal. He urges men to be on “watch at all times” by adopting a disciplined life of prayer so that they may be ready to stand (rather than cower and hide in guilty fear) in humble confidence that they have given Christ their best and to rely on His Mercy.  

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has omniscience that spans time, knowing all past and future events. Divine King, Christ exhorts men to live their lives with vigilance so they may stand with confidence at their inevitable Judgment.  Divine Judge, Christ reveals that all men will be judged.   

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Marvel at how Christ bluntly prepares men for the challenges of discipleship in the face of the end of the world and commands them to have extraordinary vigilance in discipline and prayer.  

2) Advent (meaning, “coming, approach, arrival of Christ”) is the 4-week liturgical season before Christmas; it is a period of devout and joyful expectation of Christ’s Second Coming but also a time to beg for Christ to come into each man’s daily life. During Advent, reflect upon The Preparations for Christ’s Coming (CCC 522-524) and pray for Christ to help you joyously engage in the Advent season. 

3) Given the uncertainty of when the Second Coming will occur and the time of each man’s death, Christ exhorts men to always be watchful and vigilant.  During Advent, renew your commitment for continual Vigilance (CCC 2088, 2621, 2730, 2733, 2849) and pray for Christ to help you be watchful during this Advent season.