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The day of the Lord (II)

In the previous theme we have seen how the Lord would return in glory, at the time the Father has appointed to renew all things in Christ and to have Christ as Head of everything. He will reign forever and ever and His Kingdom will have no end.

The Second Coming of Christ was something that the Early Christians had very much in mind, so much that many thought that this event would take place in their own generation. The words of the Apostle Paul are especially meaningful: “At the signal given by the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God, the Lord himself will come down from heaven: those who died in Christ will be the first to rise, and only after that we who remain alive be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thes 4:16-17).

Everyone should be duly prepared for this moment. The Word of God gives much importance to the attitude the Christians should have when facing His Coming.

·         An infallible prescription is to remain in Him: “Therefore remain in him now, children, so that when he appears we may be fearless and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 Jn 2:28). This remaining in Him, is the same as leading a blameless life: “May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may your spirit, life and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes 5:23).

·         We must not miss an attitude of vigilance in an event of such magnitude. We must remain prepared as not to be surprised by such day. This is one of the main instructions that the same Lord gave to His disciples: “So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Mt 24:42-44). Vigilance and preparedness are proper of the five sensible virgins that go out to meet the Lord: “the bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at the midnight there was a cry, “Look! The bridegroom! Go out and meet him.” Then all those wedding attendants woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other attendants arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “Open the door for us” But he replied, “In truth I tell you, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour” (Mt 25:5-13).

·         To be adequately prepared is to live like a faithful and prudent servant: “Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy servant whom the master placed over his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed that servant if his master’s arrival finds him doing exactly that. In truth I tell you, he will put him in charge of everything he owns. But if the servant is dishonest and says to himself, “My master is taking his time” and sets about beating his fellow-servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth” (Mt 24:45-51).

·         It is also necessary to wait with joy for His Coming: “…Waiting in hope for the blessing that will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus” (Tit 2:13).

·         And as such to long like the Early Church, for the coming of the Kingdom of God in its fullness, exclaiming: Come, Lord Jesus (Rev 22:20).

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