Jesus said to his disciples:(Lk 21:25-28, 34-36)
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Pope Benedict XVI's address at the St Peter Square, in part:
The Lord Jesus came in the past, he comes in the present and will come in the future. He embraces all the dimensions of time, because he died and rose, he is "the Living One" and, sharing our human precariousness, remains forever and offers us God's very stability. He is "flesh" like us, and is "rock" like God.-- Amen
Whoever desires liberty, justice and peace may now lift himself up, and raise his head, because in Christ liberation is close (cf. Luke 21:28) -- as we read in today's Gospel. Hence, we can affirm that Jesus Christ does not only look at Christians, or only at believers, but at all men, because he, who is the center of faith, is also the foundation of hope. He is the hope that every human being constantly needs.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Virgin Mary fully incarnates the humanity that lives in hope based on faith in the living God. She is the Virgin of Advent; she is well-rooted in the present, in the "today" of salvation; she keeps in her heart all the past promises; and they extend to future fulfillment. Let us enter her school, to truly enter this time of grace and to welcome, with joy and responsibility, the coming of God to our personal and social history.