Both the New Testament reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians and the Gospel of St. Luke talk about the second coming of Christ: “to be blameless in holiness…at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones…” and “then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory…” Both of these readings exhort us to be ready and vigilant; to conduct ourselves to please God and “pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent…” to be ready for judgment.
We know that Christ has come; we know that in history God made His presence known in His love for us, but we also await His return at the end of time. Jesus reminds us today to be vigilant and alert in our waiting. We are called to live between the already and the not yet. So, what do we do while we wait?
The answer is to live all our now moments as if they were our last—as if now is the moment of final judgment. This moment, this place; here and now is the time of relationship with God. Here and now are the present and the future of our salvation.
The Psalm today tells us clearly what to do: “To you, O Lord, I lift my soul; to you, I lift my soul.” This is a prayer of plan and method, a way and an attitude of waiting for His next coming. In the meantime, in the here and now, we experience the presence of Christ in the mystery of the Word and Sacrament, in Eucharist and in Community; in a relationship with God through relationship with each other. We raise our voices together in thanks and praise, believing what we sing and singing what we believe. To You, O Lord, I lift my soul!