Commentary on the Gospel of

Tom Quinn - Creighton University School of Medicine

This Saturday, actually the advent of Advent, we are poised on the brink of a time of hope for, and anticipation of, the coming of the Lord, Jesus. Marana tha!  Come, Lord! The readings (of course!) are so appropriate for our preparation for Advent. The first reading evokes a vision of crystal clear water. It is a well spring sent from the Lord to cleanse us and to wash over us as we approach to worship and to gaze into His face.  He is coming; we are preparing.


Fall, in the northern part of the United States, is the season of concentration and distillation of colors and faintly mingled leafy perfumes; a time for nature to nod off.  Today, however, we are invited to be both with the Lord and warned that he is coming. We should not “nod off”. “Behold, I am coming soon”, is the message from the Lord. This same phrase may cause anxiety, if we are not prepared, or jubilation and hopeful anticipation, if we are prepared.  Let us hope that it is the latter.  We can then say Marana tha! We invite the Lord. We can sing joyfully to the Lord. The final reading for this day is the account of a direct admonition by Jesus to his disciples, and to us.  In so many words, he said, “don’t let the day of my coming catch you like a trap.  Be vigilant; expect me at all times”.  We will soon humbly need to answer, “come, Lord, we are ready for you.” 


We can easily imagine the surprise we may experience if we answer an unexpected knock on our door.  As we open the door, we focus on the face of a friend that we have often spoken to, but have not seen for some time.  Recognition of his face floods you with joy; you pull him to you and bring.


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