The prayer for this Sunday is for a superabundance of love. Love offers the safety promised in Jeremiah 33:10. Love is what the Faithful learn from the Wisdom Psalm 25. The Faithful are encouraged in 1 Thessalonians to follow the way of love, while the Gospel warns of the dangers of not loving. The promised coming of the Son of Man is Christmas, the exemplar of love in the Christian calendar. Easter is an exemplar of power.
The psalmsinger is teaching the Faithful how to live. Psalm 25 is a Wisdom psalm. Psalm 25 is an acrostic psalm, using one more than the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The extra letter, combined with the first and middle letters, spell a Hebrew verb meaning either “to learn” or “to teach,” in other words, wisdom. The psalmsinger, using an explicit alphabetic pattern, regards the alphabet and language as gifts of God.
Frank Moore Cross links the alphabet first with logic
and Greek skepticism and then with “the prophetic principle” in
Psalm 25, as an acrostic, contains an all-encompassing
sense of God. As
In recognition of these gifts, the Responsorial antiphon, Psalm 25:1b, announces, “To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.” The Lectionary may use Psalm 25 for verse 5, “teach me your paths,” 8, “he shows sinners the way;” and 9, “teaches the humble his way.”
1 Thessalonians 4:1 becomes more specific, instructing, “how you should conduct yourselves to please God.” One should conduct oneself with abounding love. The Greek for abound in 3:12 and do so in 4:1 derive from the same Greek stem.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 and 4:1
Lectionary (1998): abound do so
The Vulgate (circa 410): superabundare abundetis
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): abound may abound
Catholic RSV (1966): abound do so
New American (1970): abound do so
New Jerusalem (1985): enrich make … progress
In the context of the Lectionary, 1
Thessalonians 3:13 “. . . at the coming of our Lord Jesus. . . ”
refers to abounding love at Christmas. In
the context of 1 Thessalonians and the New Testament Epistles, however, “the
coming of our
The First Sunday of Advent is about preparing the soul for the coming of the Savior at Christmas. Jeremiah promises a safe dwelling place, a place that turns out to be in the hearts of the Faithful. Psalm 25 looks to God for a sense of direction, for the Wisdom needed for a good life. 1 Thessalonians is about that superabundance of love exhibited by God at Christmas for humanity; a love that the Faithful also have in their hearts for all humanity.
In the last three years, I indexed nothing for the Gospel. Luke is developed at 003C 031130. Luke 21:27 does mention “the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes.
 Frank Moore, Cross, “Early Alphabetic Scripts (1975),” in Frank Moore Cross, Leaves from an Epigrapher’s Notebook: Collected Papers in Hebrew and West Semitic Palaeography and Epigraphy (HSS; 51; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2003) 341 in the Post scriptum (1993), in Anthony R. Ceresko, O.S.F.S., “Endings and Beginnings: Alphabetic Thinking and the Shaping of Psalms 106 and 150,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2006) footnote 35, page 44.