The 2nd Coming of Christ

Latin Mass:  1st Sunday of Advent
Beloved in the Lord Jesus, today we begin Advent, this time of waiting for the Coming of Christ. The Mass today brings to our mind the TWO comings of the Lord: His first coming as an Infant in Bethlehem, and his 2nd coming in Power at the end of the world.
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Many seem to think that the 2nd coming and the end of the world are getting near, but we don’t know when. Nevertheless, Jesus says that we should live as always being prepared. Our Lord says, ‘Be watchful and alert![i] ‘You do not know when the time will come.’
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So we should always be living the best that we can, because the end of our life or the End of the world could come anytime.
Today we consider the 2nd Coming and the End of the world. So let’s today restate those things that we know for sure about it.
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The End, will involve a sequence of 6 major events. These can be seen in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and also in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, and other books on doctrine.[ii]] The first sign of the End is that the Gospel will have been preached to the whole world. Our Lord has said, ‘the Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world….and then the end will come.’[iii]
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Has the Gospel been sufficiently preached to the whole world today? Probably not yet, there are many who do not really know Jesus Christ or his Church. It is not uncommon now to meet a 15 year old young person who has never been baptized – they’d like to know Jesus and the way of salvation.
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A 2nd sign of the End times, is that many Jewish people will accept Christ as the Messiah, and enter the Faith. St. Paul speaks of this in Romans, Chapter 11, and this will be an important sign, as the Catechism teaches.
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The 3rd event that signals the coming End, is the appearance of the Anti-christ, who will lead a cruel persecution against the Church, and many will fall away.
Who this will be is unknown, but the attraction to his promises will be very great. The Catechism says, ‘it will be a religious deception, offering men an apparent solution to their problems, at the price of apostasy.’ St. Paul: ‘Let no one deceive you, for the day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of sin is revealed.’[iv]
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Now for those who stand firm in the Truth, this persecution will be very great. But whether we are present at that time or not, Our Lord urges us to live today, now – live our life in faithfulness to God.
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Are we faithful under pressure? We urge our young people to refuse peer pressure – are we resisting peer pressure? When our neighbor announces that her daughter has moved in with her boyfriend, do we smile in friendly agreement in order to get along?
When a co-worker tells an impure joke, do we laugh in order to be accepted, for fear that we might be called – a Christian?
When the whole world is carried away by false ideas of marriage, do we take an unpopular stand?
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In Iraq, a group of Christian kids were told by ISIS, ‘Convert, say the words! or die. ‘No,’ was the answer from these children. ‘We love Jesus.’ And all their heads were chopped off.
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They withstood the greatest test, but do we stand up for the teachings of Christ in far easier tests? If we cannot resist the pagan world today, we will be no match at all for the Anti-christ.
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The 4th event leading to the end of the world is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. It will be during a dark time of persecution when Jesus will return: ‘On the earth, distress of nations, men withering away for fear. And then they shall see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and majesty.’[v]
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A young girl said, the End of the world makes me nervous, Father. I said, listen, it will be a bad day for the wicked, but a great day for we faithful Christians. Say in a few years, you are at home. You are doing your homework in your room at night, when suddenly, the windows are bright, sunlight is pouring into your room at 9pm; ‘What is happening?, you think.’ Then your mother calls from outside: ‘Gale, come out, come out and see!’ And you run outside, and you have never seen your mother so happy – you look into the sky, and there is Jesus coming in glory! And you too, are filled with an unexplained happiness.
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‘And then they shall see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.’[vi]
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‘The word ‘Advent’ means ‘Coming.’ This season is preparation for Christmas, which was the first coming of Christ, but we are also reminded today of the 2nd coming, when Christ will come, not as a meek child, but as a Judge.
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The 5th event then, is the resurrection of the dead, and Judgment. The dead will all be resurrected, and together we will face the General Judgment of all.
‘The hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear the voice of the Son of God, they who have done good, shall come forth to resurrection of life, they who have done evil, unto resurrection of judgment.’[vii]
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For us, who have stood firm in Faith, it will be a great and joyful day. If we are still alive at the 2nd Coming, we will be there; but if we have died, we will be resurrected, and we will be there too!
St. Paul describes it: ‘We who live, who survive until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God will descend from heaven; and the dead in Christ will rise up first.’[viii]
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The Judgment will be made. The Just, risen in glorified bodies, the wicked in hideous bodies to hell. And finally, the End of the world – this universe, obliterated, we will enter the New Creation: Paradise.
‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away…. And he who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’[ix]
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May the Blessed Virgin pray for us;
Mary, pray for us, that we will always be preparing ourselves to meet our Savior;
always ready, for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of St. Mary, niece of Abraham]

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[i] Mark 13:33

[ii] These events are nicely explained in ‘Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma’ by Ludwig Ott.

[iii] Matt 24:14

[iv] 2 Thess 2:3

[v] Luke 21:25

[vi] Luke 21:28

[vii] John 5:28

[viii] 1 Thess 4:15

[ix] Rev 21:1

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