All posts tagged: repentance

The Last Judgment is the Real Reason for Advent

At the beginning of this past week, I asked my students in all three sections of my Theology 100 course, “What is the reason for Advent?” Those who responded said that Advent prepares us for a joyful remembrance of Christmas. Not one of my 104 students connected Advent with the Second Coming of Christ. When told of the relationship between the Last Judgment and Advent, one student asked why then do we put the season of Advent before Christmas? As if she was asking, “Why do we put a penitential season before a joyful season?” That question was a perfect segue into our class discussion on Father Alfred Delp, a German Jesuit who was executed for high treason on February 2, 1945, for being a member of an anti-Nazi resistance group. While awaiting execution, Delp wrote a few meditations on Advent, on its profound message of hope for Christians during difficult times. He approached the season as a time not only to remember Christ’s birth but also to awaken in us the responsibility to participate …

God’s Patience

In the Sunday lectionary, there is often an obvious connection between the reading from the Old Testament and the Gospel. Yet, the third Sunday of Lent requires a bit of work from the reader to discern how the two texts are mutually illuminating. In Exodus, Moses encounters the presence of the LORD in the burning bush on Horeb. God speaks to Moses, revealing that the presence of the LORD is in fact “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob” (Ex 3:6). This God, who already has a long-standing relationship with the people of Israel, is responding to the cries of suffering that his beloved children have offered. This is a God who wants to rescue his beloved sons and daughters, bringing them into “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Ex 3:8). Moses will be God’s steward in this liberating work but it will be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who will reveal his might. Moses, though, wants to know a bit more. He asks God for a …