"Expectation has never ceased to guide the progress of our faith like a torch. The Israelites were constantly expectant, and the first Christians too. Christmas, which might have been thought to turn our gaze towards the past, has only fixed it further in the future. The Messiah, who appeared for a moment in our midst, only allowed himself to be seen and touched for a moment before vanishing once again, more luminous and ineffable than ever, into the depths of the future. He came. Yet now we must expect him—no longer a small chosen group among us, but all men—once again and more then ever.…
"Successors to Israel, we Christians have been charged with keeping the flame of the desire ever alive in the world. Only twenty centuries have passed since the Ascension. What have we made of our expectancy? …We persist in saying that we keep vigil in expectation of the Master. But in reality we should have to admit, if we were sincere, that we no longer expect anything.
"The flame must be revived at all costs. At all costs we must renew in ourselves the desire and the hope for the great Coming."
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ (1881-1955)