1 min read
27 Nov

This week, I studied this prayer through the lens of last week’s Feast of Christ the King, and the realization came to me that the Christian life really isn’t about us. Once we have the resolve, which we ask God for in this prayer, everything else is up to Him. This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent.

Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Let’s look at the word resolve. Resolve is not just a desire, it the strength of will to accomplish something. It is us putting our free-will into action. With this will, we run forth to meet Christ with righteous deeds.

Righteous, or iustis in Latin, can be thought of as a right relationship. Righteous deeds make us right with God. They also make us right with our neighbor.

Where do we find these righteous deeds? We learn in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” God has the good works all ready for us to accomplish. Fourth century theologian, Gaius Victorinus wrote that these works “are good for us to walk in [or in the case of this prayer, to run in]. They are witnesses to Christ’s working in us.” It is up to each one of us to do what God has presented before us. As I thought about that, I came to realize the immense eternal value of them because God gave them to us to do.

See what I mean about the Christian life not being about us? God has prepared these righteous works in advance for us to do and in doing them, we are formed into his chosen people, gathered at his right hand and worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom. Our formation takes place here, in this life, and we have no time to waste.

This week Advent begins. The word advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means coming. This week we begin again, running forth to meet the coming Christ, the one we long for, the one on whom our eyes are fixed upon because we have work to do. We have His work to do.

Thanks for praying with me.

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