Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time

The real conflict is inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the catacombs of concentration camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are victories on the battle-field if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves? - St Maximilian Kolbe

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well
that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.
When people are saying, "Peace and security,"
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.
For God did not destine us for wrath,
but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep
we may live together with him.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up,
as indeed you do.

How much did you think about the Second Coming of Christ this week between the earthquake and the hurricane here in the New York area? If you're like many Catholics, the message of His coming again goes in one ear and out the other. However, through His Word and the Mass, Jesus constantly warns us that He is coming again. When you attend Sunday Mass, you hear the message of the Second Coming of Christ at least twice and as many as four times, depending upon the prayers and responses chosen. If you attend daily Mass, you heard about the Second Coming between nine and twenty-two times this week! In addition, numerous verses in Scripture are devoted to Jesus' Second Coming.

A good rule of thumb is for us to think about the Second Coming of Christ at least as much as Jesus and the Church think about it. If you haven't recently thought of the day of Jesus' Second Coming, or at least His coming at the day of your death, you are probably "off guard" (1 Thes 5:4). If so, it's not because the Lord and His Church haven't been warning you constantly. "You know very well that the day of the Lord is coming like a thief in the night" (1 Thes 5:2). "Therefore let us not be asleep like the rest, but awake and sober!" (1 Thes 5:6)

A good way to constantly think of the day of the Lord's return is to regularly tell others about it (see 1 Thes 4:18). Spread the good news of salvation (1 Thes 5:9) and "wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

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