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Advent: The Coming of the Lord

Advent: The Coming of the Lord

In this beautiful homily for 1st Sunday of Advent, Year C, Father Hanly gives us a summary of the three comings of the Lord.

Readings for First Sunday of Advent, Year C

  • First Reading: Jeremiah 33:14-16
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
  • Second Reading: First Thessalonians 3:12–4:2
  • Gospel: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36



Today is the First Sunday of Advent. Christmas is just around the corner, only four weeks away from the Coming of the Lord.

In fact, though, there are really three Comings of the Lord that we talk about, and each one in its own way is important for us to understand.

The word “Advent” is a Latin word, “advenio.”  What it means is “the coming”…not “he came,” but “the coming.”  It has a note of constancy about it…not “he has arrived,” but “he is arriving, he is near, he’s at the door, he’s waiting for you.”

The First Coming, of course, is the coming of the Child at Christmas: the coming of the Saviour, Emmanuel, God is with us. And he comes as an infant, born in a humble village of Bethlehem.  And this is God’s coming into history.

The First Coming of the Lord comes with God coming in weakness.  He comes in the quiet of the night.  He is born a helpless Child, in need of men and women and others to take care of him, to watch over him, to feed him, to do all these things.

Unbelievable, when you come to think of it.  Mary and Joseph, a poor, poor carpenter and a teenaged girl, are called to raise a child who is God Himself.

The Second Coming: The Second Coming of the Lord is more dramatic, as we read in the Gospel. It is Jesus speaking of the end of the world as we know it.

It frightens people, but Jesus promises us: In the midst of the darkness on the edges of despair, when it seems that all is lost, and the world as we know it has been torn asunder, lightning in the skies, fire on the earth, then Jesus says to us: “On that day, lift up your heads, for your redemption, your healing, is at hand.”

Jesus will come in a cloud of glory with all the angels. The cloud, of course, is the symbol of the Presence of God.

He will come to initiate the new world where love finally triumphs over hate, where people turn to each other and embrace each other in joy, for the world that God intended will finally be complete when the Son of Man comes in glory the Second Time.

And that leaves the Third Coming of the Lord, the puzzling coming of the Lord.

This is for us who wait and wonder at what we are supposed to do while we’re here on Earth. Now to celebrate the coming of the Child and then after Christmas put everything back in the boxes and hide them away until next year?

Are we then to sit around and wonder and worry about what is the next move? What will happen to us in the meantime?

Not to worry. Something has already happened in the meantime.

What has happened in the meantime?

The little Child of Bethlehem, the helpless little Child of Bethlehem, grew up.

And he has come to give to our lives the meaning and purpose that we ourselves we thirst for.

On the eve of his departure during the last Supper, Jesus said to his disciples: “I am going away, and you will be sad.”

He was talking of his crucifixion and death.

“But I will come back again and be with you!”

He was speaking now of his resurrection.

And the risen Lord is indeed with us, our companion on our journey, just as he promised his disciples: “I will be with you all days even to the end of the world.”

And this Third Coming of the Lord is his word to stay with us, here, now and forever.

The Lord has called us to himself. He has said to each and every one of us in our hearts: “Come follow me.”

And those who answer find the real meaning of Advent and the joy of Christmas: in the knowing of, in the loving of, and in the following of the Lord, Jesus, who leads us safely home.

FAQ for Homily for First Sunday of Advent, Year C

When is First Sunday of Advent, Year C, in 2018? 2nd December 2018
What is the next homily in the liturgical cycle? 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C
who was father hanly? Father Denis J. Hanly was a Maryknoll Missionary
How can we find other homilies by father hanly? by liturgical calendar or by topic or by title

Information about Father Hanly’s homily for 1st Sunday of Advent, Year C

All Rights Reserved.
It is sometimes hard to accurately transcribe Father Hanly’s reflections, so please let us know if you think we have made a mistake in any of our transcripts, and let us have your suggestions.
We hope that Father Hanly’s homilies, always kind, always wise, always full of love, will restore you to peace and harmony through a new understanding of what is important in this world.
Father Hanly’s sermon for First Sunday of Advent, Year C, was delivered on 2nd December 2012.
If you would like to use our transcript of this sermon (updated 2018), please contact us at for permission.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Peter Ho says:

    Thank you so much for the great work. Fr Hanly is a great and caring spiritual and pastoral leader and it is so wonderful to hear him and learn from his wisdom and words of faith. He lived a good life and it is a blessing to have known him. So much comfort to be able to still hear from him. Thank you!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Peter. We were indeed blessed to have known Father. We must never forget all that he taught us.

  2. Desiree Jebsen says:

    This man should be canonized… I don’t know any priest who has touched so many lives in such a wonderful spiritual way…

    1. Jane says:

      We believe that through these recordings his words can continue to do this.
      Our hope is that people will spread the word and let everyone know that recordings of Father’s homilies are here for all those who need them – both for those of us lucky enough to have known and loved Father, and also for all the people who have yet to discover him.

      1. Lina says:

        I love to hear Fr Hanly’s voice & homily again …always touching our hearts warmly! He is a very compassionate, humorous & humble priest who follows Jesus throughout his lives, & I feel so blessed to have known him in person! Pray that all who haven’t known Jesus can be inspired by Fr Hanly’s preaching in different ways & some days.

      2. Jane says:

        Father was very special and we believe his homilies can help everyone! Please ask everyone you know to spread the word that his homilies are here.

  3. Paul says:

    Father Hanly in our heart,

  4. Allen says:

    I so miss that man.

  5. Edwin says:

    Thank you for continuing to maintain website. Very beneficial for me as l travel every other week.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Edwin. We are glad it hear that it helps.

  6. Tim says:

    I have never met and I did not know Father Hanly in his lifetime. With the introduction of a Catholic family member, I know Father Hanly through his words and recordings in this website. I am deeply moved and inspired by his words of wisdom and love. Thank you for the transcript and recordings to keep his words, a medium of God’s love and grace, alive. They continue to transform people’s lives.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you very much Tim. This is our great hope. It is so good to hear that it is happening. Please continue to pass it on.

  7. Tiago says:

    Thank you for sharing these words and thoughts.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you.
      Please spread the word that they are here!

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