For Monday, December 10, 2001

Monday, December 10, 2001

Malachi 3:1-4

"I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple . . . But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? . . . For He will be like a refiner's fire . . ."

Advent is a term used to designate both the first and second coming of the Christ. The first coming is "joy to the world," with a mother, baby, angels, magi, and shepherds. I would prefer to write of this, but the scripture I was assigned requires that I address the second coming - "the day of Judgment." I am paid to pronounce judgments, but my judgments are different in degree and kind from the judgment on the Day of the Lord, when there shall be distress, anguish, ruin, devastation, thick darkness, and gloom, and when people "shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes in the ground" in a futile attempt to escape the terror of the Lord. But God's messenger, our Christ, after his first advent, told us how to escape the terror of the Day of the Lord. To remain part of the faithful remnant, we must feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, house the stranger, clothe the naked, look after the sick, and visit the prisoner. So what am I and what are you going to do during the rest of this liturgical period of Advent?

Prayer: Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget - lest we forget! Amen.

J. Gorman Houston, Jr.