Come Lord Jesus

The First Sunday of Advent the readings from the Liturgy of the Hours reflect on the various aspects of Our Lords coming into the world. The reflection for the First Sunday of Advent is taken from the Catechetical Instruction of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem. He is one of the most important of the Fathers of the Church because he gives a window into the ancient practices of the Catholic Church.

Cyril of Jerusalem, St.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem was born just about the time the Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire (313 AD) and became bishop of the Holy City of David about 349AD. St. Cyril was banished from his Jerusalem see a total of three times for his bold proclamation of faith in Christ’s full divinity during a time when many bishops and emperors favored various forms of the Arian heresy.

 Saint Cyril of Jerusalem is one of the most important sources we have for how the church celebrated the liturgy and sacraments during the first few decades after the legalization of Christianity. In his famous 24 lectures commonly known as the Jerusalem Catecheses, Saint Cyril instructs new Christians in the days immediately before and after their initiation into the life of the Church at the Easter Vigil. In these catechetical instructions, which are the only documents that survive by St. Cyril, we find very strong insistence on the value and efficacy of the sacrament of baptism as well as heavy emphasis on the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in the sacrament of the Eucharist. St. Cyril of Jerusalem is considered to be one of the Early Church Fathers and is also reckoned among the number of the Doctors of the Catholic Church. St. Cyril of Jerusalem died about 386 AD, shortly after the First Council of Constantinople which completed the Creed often known as the Nicene Creed.  (bio by Dr. Italy)

On the Twofold Coming of Christ
(From a Catechetical Instruction by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop)

We do not preach only one coming of Christ, but a second as well, much more glorious than the first. The first coming was marked by patience; the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.

In general, whatever relates to our Lord Jesus Christ has two aspects. There is a birth from God before the ages, and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time. There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece, and a coming before all eyes, still in the future. At the first coming he was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. At his second coming he will be clothed in light as in a garment. In the first coming he endured the cross, despising the shame; in the second coming he will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels. We look then beyond the first coming and await the second. At the first coming we said: Blessed ishe who comes in the name of the Lord. At the second we shall say it again; we shall go out with the angels to meet the Lord and cry out in adoration: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

The Savior will not come to be judged again, but to judge those by whom he was judged.At his own judgment he was silent; then he will address those who committed the outragesagainst him when they crucified him and will remind them: You did these things, andI was silent.

His first coming was to fulfill his plan of love, to teach men by gentle persuasion. This time,whether men like it or not, they will be subjects of his kingdom by necessity. The prophetMalachi speaks of the two comings. And the Lord whom you seek will come suddenly tohis temple: that is one coming.

Again he says of another coming: Look, the Lord almighty will come, and who will endurethe day of his entry, or who will stand in his sight? Because he comes like a refiner’s fire,a fuller’s herb, and he will sit refining and cleansing.

These two comings are also referred to by Paul in writing to Titus: The grace of God the Savior has appeared to all men, instructing us to put aside impiety and worldly desires andlive temperately, uprightly, and religiously in this present age, waiting for the joyful hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Notice how he speaks of a first coming for which he gives thanks, and a second, the one we still await.

That is why the faith we profess has been handed on to you in these words: He ascendedinto heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again in gloryto judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

Our Lord Jesus Christ will therefore come from heaven. He will come at the end of theworld, in glory, at the last day. For there will be an end to this world, and the created worldwill be made new.