We acknowledge his coming in history at Christmas when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and the events surrounding his Nativity 2,000 years ago. His coming in majesty will occur at the end of the ages when he returns in glory to judge the living and the dead. His coming in mystery recognizes the many ways he comes to us between the other two “advents,” for example, through his word and the sacraments, and in the daily unfolding of his wise and loving Providence in our lives. Faith discerns the coming of the Lord and his gracious purposes in these ordinary events.
As I write this column, the first FDA-approved COVID vaccine from Pfizer is being shipped to all 50 states. Vaccinations are beginning. A second such authorization is expected for the Moderna vaccine in the days ahead. This is rightly being hailed as a remarkable scientific achievement, bringing a ray of hope to a world that has been devastated by fear, illness and death since the outbreak of this global pandemic.
For persons of faith, we acknowledge this life-saving development not only as an amazing scientific and technological achievement, but also as an answer to prayer. Jesus is the Lord of history. He comes to our assistance. We believe that sometimes the Lord may work in extraordinary ways such as through miracles, but ordinarily he works through simple human agency. He has made the world intelligible and given knowledge and understanding to those who seek the truth.