Our readings have been reminding us that the night is far spent and the day is drawing near. We are called upon today to remain vigilant so that we do not miss the second coming of the Lord. And it is well that we receive that warning today, on the cusp as we are of the new Church year. This is the last day of the Church year and tomorrow, well even tonight, we will begin the year of grace 2009 with the season of Advent. The day draws ever nearer for us.
As the day draws nearer, we will need less and less of the light that has been given to us in this world. The first reading says, “Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever.” St. Augustine says of that great day: “When, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ comes and, as the apostle Paul says, brings to light things hidden in darkness and makes plain the secrets of the heart, so that everyone may receive his commendation from God, then lamps will no longer be needed. When that day is at hand, the prophet will not be read to us, the book of the Apostle will not be opened, we shall not require the testimony of John, we shall have no need of the Gospel itself. Therefore all Scriptures will be taken away from us, those Scriptures which in the night of this world burned like lamps so that we might not remain in darkness.
When all these things are removed as no longer necessary for our illumination, and when the men of God by whom they were ministered to us shall themselves together with us behold the true and dear light without such aids, what shall we see? With what shall our minds be nourished? What will give joy to our gaze? Where will that gladness come from, which eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, which has not even been conceived by the heart of man?” (Tract. 35, 8-9)
And of course, the answer to that, is we shall get our light looking on the face of Christ himself. As Advent approaches, we pray earnestly for that day: Come quickly Lord, and do not delay!