Verse to Meditate on Throughout the Day
“Behold, the Lord will come, and all his holy ones with him; and on that day there will be great light.” (Cf. Zec. 14:5, 7)
O God, who have shown forth your salvation to all the ends of the earth, grant, we pray, that we may look forward in joy to the glorious Nativity of Christ.
[Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever]
Prayer of Offering Throughout the Day
Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings, and since we have no merits to plead our cause, come, we pray, to our rescue with the protection of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.
Verse at end of day
“The Just Judge will bestow a crown of righteousness on those who eagerly await his coming.” (Cf. 2 Timothy 4:8)
Longer Scripture Reading: Isaiah 24:19 – 25:5
Advent Reflection: From the dogmatic constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council.
(Lumen Gentium n. 48)
The eschatological character of the pilgrim Church
The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus and in which we acquire holiness through the grace of God, will reach its perfection only in the glory of heaven, when the time comes for the renewal of all things, and the whole world, which is intimately bound up with man and reaches its perfection through him, will, along with the human race, be perfectly restored in Christ.
Lifted above the earth, Christ drew all things to himself. Rising from the dead, he sent his life-giving Spirit upon his disciples, and through the Spirit established his Body, which is the Church, as the universal sacrament of salvation. Seated at the right hand of the Father, he works unceasingly in the world, to draw men into the Church and through it to join them more closely to himself, nourishing them with his own body and blood, and so making them share in his life of glory.
The promised renewal that we look for has already begun in Christ. It is continued in the mission of the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit it goes on developing in the Church: there we are taught by faith about the meaning also of our life on earth as we bring to fulfillment – with hope in the blessings that are to come – the work that has been entrusted to us in the world by the Father, and so work out our salvation.
The end of the ages is already with us. The renewal of the world has been established, and cannot be revoked. In our era it is in a true sense anticipated: the Church on earth is already sealed by genuine, if imperfect, holiness. Yet, until a new heaven and a new earth are built as the dwelling place of justice, the pilgrim Church, in its sacraments and institutions belonging to this world of time, bears the likeness of this passing world. It lives in the midst of a creation still groaning and in travail as it waits for the sons of God to be revealed in glory.