In Luke’s account of the apocalypse we are invited to contemplate the images of cosmic disruption the gospels associate with the Parousia, the second coming of Christ. We are also invited to reflect on the implications of dark times for the Church and the human family: division, the nations in dismay, people perplexed. More to the point we are invited to greet what is happening courageously. These events are not bad news, but good. That is why we are invited to be ready, standing erect, our heads held high. For the fullness of redemption is at hand. What a tragedy if we were asleep, distracted, on that great day because of our carousing and drunkenness, our minds and hearts trapped in the anxieties of life. The call is to be awake, on the watch, alert, vigilant, ready to take our place in the bright presence of the Son of Man, to be signs in our own lives of the triumph of love over darkness. Some people say, “The time is near” when it is not. We always need the grace and light of resilient hope because there are always moments of disappointment and loss. Advent invites us to look to the light. And so we light our first advent candle.