Friday, December 5, 2008

St Bernard on Advent

From the Sermons of St Bernard (Sermon 5 on Advent):

We have come to know a threefold coming of the Lord. The third coming takes place between the other two. They are clearly manifest but the third is not. In the first coming the Lord was seen on earth and lived among men (Bar 3:37)… In his last coming ‘all flesh shall see the salvation of our God’ (Lk 3:6)… The other coming is hidden. In it, only the chosen see him within themselves and their souls are saved. In brief, his first coming was in the flesh and in weakness, this intermediary coming is in the spirit and in power, the last coming will be in glory and majesty.

This intermediary coming is like a road leading from the first to the last coming. In the first coming Christ was our redemption, in the last he will appear as our life (Col 3:4), in this intermediary coming he is our rest and consolation.

The effect of this coming will be that just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man (1 Cor 15:49). …so now let Christ take possession of the whole man, for he created the whole man, he redeemed the whole man and he will glorify the whole man.

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