Glorious Cross May 19
When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory (II Memorial Acclamation).
The early Church’s expectation of the Second Coming of Christ had reached its peak. For the first community, the return of Jesus was considered imminent, to the point that Christians even suspended various aspects of ordinary life, e.g., work, marriage. Little by little this eschatological fever diminished. But it strongly marked Eucharistic worship forever. Christians typically waited for the return of Christ during the celebration of the Eucharist. The “anamnesis” (remembering) of the death and resurrection of Jesus was always made “while we await your glorious return.” Churches were constructed so that the orientation of the congregation was always to the east, awaiting the rising of the Sun, who is Christ. The most ardent desire of the Church is the return of Jesus. It is this that gives hope and courage. It is this that gives impulse to ministry. The fact that Jesus is going to return gives urgency to the Christian life. To live in Gospel integrity is considered the best possible stance of waiting. The return has evoked an apocalyptic sense in certain groups of Christians, leading them to predict the date and to prepare by extreme measures. For consecrated religious, the return of Jesus defines not only the content of their message but also the organization of their lives. He will return!
The night lasts long, but the day finally arrives. (Bornu)