Pentecost +25 - Year C
Jesus who once was heard to say, "Go into all the world", now is commanding that we stay away from fellow followers of Jesus who are of a different class or follow a different Jesus tradition. No longer are they to imitate a Jesus they have experienced, but the Jesus someone else has experienced.
Or we could say that the community of real Jesus followers takes place in a location where there are sufficient jobs for everyone to have one or two or more and that everyone has been healed so they are able to work hours on end. The Church, here, requires a healthy economy or there can only be a few leaders who can command the rest to do Jesus as they do (no, there are not multiple ways of reading that).
We have moved from the feeding of 5,000 at a time a shared meal to feeding one at a time their individually earned meal. In such a short time as it is from the stories of Luke to a letter to Thessalonica, a dramatic difference has happened - moving from an egalitarian, socialist call to have G*D's presence enfleshed in a sharing community, all the way over to a class-based, individualism that has everyone pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps (as if that could happen without cultural and communal rules and securities to protect what has been individually gathered!).
Yes, Advent is needed and is on the horizon. We have moved far away from the early Acts of the Apostles, it is but a dim memory this far along the Church Year. We are much closer to the desolation requiring the birth of a new imagination, a new word. (Don't tell anyone, but more than Church culture rises and falls.) In this brave new world of desperation there are no excuses, no arguments - everyone's on their own. To remember a hope for life to be otherwise seems so distant, so quaint. How might it mysteriously appear this time?