The day on which our Lord returns will be a “great and awesome day” (Mal. 4:5, First Lesson). For He will come in a cloud with great power and glory. To the wicked and the proud, it will be a Day of judgment that will “set them ablaze” (Mal. 4:1). The signs preceding this Day will bring them fear and fainting. But to those who believe, who fear the name of the Lord, this Day is one to look forward to and rejoice in: “. . . straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28, Gospel Lesson). Christ our Redeemer is coming; the Sun of Righteousness will bring healing in His wings. Let us, then, give attention to the words of the Lord, which do not pass away. Let us “through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures” (Rom. 15:4, Second Lesson) be strengthened in our hope by the Holy Spirit and watch diligently for Jesus’ coming. Then, by God’s grace, we shall escape all these things that will come to pass and stand before the Son of Man.
The Second Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Populus Zion, which are the first Latin words of the Historic Introit assigned to this Sunday. Populus Zion means “People of Zion” (Populus Zion, ecce Dominus veniet ad salvandas gentes = “People of Zion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations”).
Since his coming is sure and so important, Christ sends out forerunners in the footsteps of St. John the Baptist who help us to make proper preparation for his coming. They do that with a message not their own. They do it with the message that he himself has given. Pay close attention to those heralds of the coming Lord, the prophets and apostles, and to the pastors and teachers in our midst who have succeeded them to get us ready for his coming.