The coming of the Son of Man.
Jesus said to His disciples: "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 the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken." "And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. "Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
WAITING IN JOYFUL HOPE. On the penultimate Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church invites her children to focus on the eschaton, the last realities: Death, afterlife, judgment, and reward or punishment. The Bible teaches that everything in the present order of this world will pass away. But God will establish something new and definite. Israel awaits a political eschatology when a lasting and just political order would be established by God. Eschatology also involves cosmic change, when the "old heaven" will be taken away and replaced with a new one. The Israelites believe that eschatology will usher in "the end times" and a new order will follow, brought about by the Messiah, the glorious agent of God. In Jesus' time, people believe that eschatology will involve the overthrow of the Roman power that has subdued the nation of Israel. The dead will then be raised up, and a glorious life will follow. Saul of Tarsus, while still a Pharisee, considered that the early Christian preaching that Jesus was raised by God from the dead was absurd and a great lie. If Jesus were indeed the Messiah, then the eschaton has arrived! But where are the glorious signs? The Romans continue to oppress the people. Corruption, injustice, and oppression still reign. And how could Jesus be the Messiah when he died on the cross? God's curse rests on him who hangs on a tree (cf Dt 21:23). But on the way to Damascus, Saul was "arrested" by Christ. Saul saw him as the Glorious One, and immediately realized that what the believers preached about him was true: That Jesus is indeed the Messiah and that the eschaton has begun. And yet the glorious signs of eschatology are not yet fully realized. That will happen only on the Day of the Lord -- the Parousia -- when Christ will come again. Until that day, the Christians are living in an interim period. They are assured of God's salvation, but they must work out this salvation with fear and trembling (cf Phil 2:12). But the surety of Christ's coming should fill them with hope. Jesus will come again to gather everything under his dominion and present it to the heavenly Father. While waiting for that blessed time, we have to keep awake and attend to our duties as responsible servants of the Lord. Times will continue to be trying, but we are strengthened by our blessed hope and our conviction that the Messiah has come and will come again in glory.
SOURCE: "365 Days with the Lord 2015," ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.
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|Date:||Nov 14, 2015|
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