After looking at the historical coming of Jesus in the first week, reaching as far as Bethlehem where we stopped with the meditations, the second week was dedicated to the coming of the Lord into our hearts. It was about strengthening the relationship with Jesus in our inner being.
Now in the third week our focus is on the Second Coming of the Lord, which is quite underexposed in our Catholic Church. Who speaks about it, who preaches about it, who dares to turn to the eschatological statements? It is left more to Protestant circles in which the awareness of the Second Coming of Jesus is more often present. But since they lack the living tradition, their reflections can easily fall short and lead to irritations.
For our Catholic Church, a greater concentration on the Second Coming of Christ would be very important, because then we would be more focused on the actual goal towards which we are moving day by day. We can also put it differently: hour by hour the Second Coming of the Lord comes closer for which we are to be prepared.
Just as the first coming of Christ took a long way until our Saviour was born in Bethlehem, spent the years of his earthly life with us, and then through death and resurrection gave us salvation, so too the preparation for his return makes its way through time. The Lord will come: That is certain!
“Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven; then, too, all the peoples of the earth will beat their breasts; and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet to gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mt 24:29-31)
The return of the Lord at the end of time is preceded by signs which we will look at more closely in the course of the week. Before Jesus comes again there will be:
1. Proclamation of the gospel in the whole world
The Gospel will be proclaimed in the whole world (Mt 24:14; Mk 13:10).
2. Conversion of the Jews
This goes back to Romans 11:25-32: When the number of Gentiles appointed by God has entered the kingdom of God, all Israel will be converted and saved.
There will be false prophets who will mislead many (Mt 24:11) and before the Second Coming there will be a great apostasy (2 Thess 2:3).
4. Appearance of the Antichrist
The apostasy is causally connected with the appearance of the Antichrist: “It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and there has appeared the wicked One, the lost One” (2 Thess 2:3). Christ “will destroy him with the breath of his mouth” at His coming (2 Thess 2:8).
5. Severe afflictions
Wars, famines, earthquakes and severe persecutions are foretold (Mt 24:7-10). Violent natural disasters herald the Second Coming of the Lord (Mt 24:29; cf. Isa 13:10; 34:4).
In my talk on the 3rd Sunday of Advent (on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl-gQ2X45ZgU96o15SUYLbQ) I already mentioned one or two points and spoke at some length about the coming of the Antichrist. Indeed, this will be an event that will bring a great deal of distress and we will go into this in more detail this week. But first, starting tomorrow, we will reflect on what advice the Lord gives us to be prepared for his return!
Harpa Dei accompanies the daily scriptural interpretation or spiritual teaching of Br. Elija, their spiritual father. These meditations can be heard on the following website www.en.elijamission.net