SUNDAY HOMILY: The Happy Priest on the Second Coming
Another liturgical year will end with the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King. As the liturgical year ends, it is interesting to note how the flow of the Catholic liturgy focuses on the theme of the Second Coming.
The eschatological teachings of Jesus are very clear throughout the Gospels. We pronounce the certainty of eternal life each time we pray together the Profession of Faith. "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come." The particular judgment, heaven, purgatory, hell, the last judgment, and the hope of a new heaven and a new earth are the components of this fundamental teaching of Christianity.
Someday, yet unknown to us, this life will end and God will judge us according to our deeds. \"And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt\" (Daniel 12: 2).
Without a doubt, the trials and tribulations of our present day have caused many people to believe that the end of the world is imminent. Even though the troubles facing our Church, our nation and the world have many times reached apocalyptic proportions, it is very dangerous to interpret these events literally through the Book of Revelation.
Let us always keep in mind the words of our Lord: \"But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son of Man, but only the Father\" (Mark 13: 32).
Many people have lost hope by becoming obsessed with a pessimistic view of the events of our day. Our consideration of the Second Coming of Jesus must fill us with joy and hope precisely because the entire mission of the Church directs our gaze toward the Second Coming.
In the Catholic liturgy we pray: \"In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ\".
In this Sunday's gospel narrative we find these words that speak to us clearly about the Second Coming: \"But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken\" (Mark 13: 24-25).
The certainty of the Lord\'s return in glory and the challenges of the current time of trial must instill in us a renewed missionary spirit. It is not permissible for any Christian to retreat because of fear. All of us must become apostles bearing witness to the one who came and will come again. Each of us must be busy in the vineyard. There is much to be done.
There is no doubt that we live in a period of history that is difficult indeed. The suffering that has been unleashed upon humanity can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, it is imperative that we always keep in mind that history has seen many moments of trial and tribulation.
\"Be not afraid\". Blessed Pope John Paul II, repeating the words of the Lord Jesus, challenged all of us at the beginning of his pontificate, not to be overcome by the apocalyptic happenings of our age.
He had personally experienced the terrible assault on humanity brought about by Nazi Germany and Soviet Communism. He, like many of his contemporaries, has been able to understand the extent of the damage that the mystery of evil has done to humanity. However, he showed us that our entire trust must be in Christ Jesus whose final victory over evil we await with joyful hope.
I am not minimizing the magnitude of the challenges that confront us. Nevertheless, I have learned that if we truly wish to experience the joy that the virtue of hope provides, we must abandon ourselves with total confidence into the loving hands of God our Father who knows all things.
It is not healthy to be obsessed with watching the news at every moment.
Personally, I have become increasingly more peaceful when I consider the challenges of our times. I have become more and more aware that God is in charge and that the solution to most of the problems facing humanity depends on his intervention.
In her book, The Open Mind, Dawna Makovra wrote, \"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a ...
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