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692 - The second coming of the Lord

11-Nov-2017 - Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Word of God

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep … For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words. 1Thes 4,14-18

Thoughts

Today Paul announces three events which for us christians are three absolute truths: "Jesus died and rose“, those who died in the faith are "with him”, and that there will be a second "coming of the Lord", at the end of the times. The first of these truths, which already has taken place, gives the certainty to the other two, for which belief we must make the same journey of faith of those who witnessed the healing of the paralytic: "But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" - he said to the man who was paralyzed, - “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home”. (Lk 5,24). The second truth, that one for which the dead people in the faith are in God with Jesus Christ, is for us cause of great consolation: it ensures us that our loved ones are in the heaven, in the communion of the saints and that this will be too our eternal destiny. On the third truth, which talks about the return of the Lord at the end of the times, Paul, not knowing when it will happen, imagines that it is close, but it is actually quite a long lasting one to be realized, since two thousand years have already elapsed and I wonder how many will still have to pass before that it will be fulfilled. To get an idea of these eschatological times, we must think of the march which the people of Israel has made in the desert before reaching the Promised Land: it predicts the path which the humanity must take over the time of the history. If we look at the map of the route of that march, we are struck by the fact that the jews had come quickly close to that land which later will became Palestine, but then they lost themselves again in the desert where they wandered around for forty years. By meditating on the book of the Exodus, it is easy to realize that this has happened because the jew people were not yet ready to enter the Promised Land: they had still to make that long experience in the wilderness to test again the faithfulness of their God and to reach that human development and of faith which they had not. Going from the prophecy to the prediction of when the end of the times will take place, we can imagine that it will be not close because it seems that the humanity has yet to make a long human and christian journey, before being ready for the final demonstration of the glory of God .