As with every season in the Church’s liturgical calendar, there are many facets to each one. None can be exhausted for the simple reason that each season is an invitation to enter into the mystery of the Triune God.
With Advent, I often return to a theme that is front and center in today’s readings: that this time of adventus — of “arrival” or “coming” — is apocalyptic. Advent really is apocalyptic, in the truest sense of that often misunderstood word. Many people equate “apocalypse” with cosmic destruction and earth-shattering doom. But while that association is not incorrect, it is certainly incomplete. Advent provides an opportunity to see the big picture more fully, to catch a deeper glimpse into God’s plan of salvation.
“Apocalypse” comes from Greek word apokalupsis, which refers to a revelation of something unknown before, a disclosure of truth or a public manifestation of something previously hidden. In the New Testament, it usually refers to the apocalypse, or revelation, of Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord and King. It is also used to describe the revealing of “the just judgment of God” (Rom 2:5), as well as the revelation of those who have been saved, the “children of God” (Rom 8:19). The latter two flow from the revelation of Christ, who is righteous Judge and merciful Savior.
Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.
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