It has been a long, hot summer. A very loooooong summer! As I write this, we have had over 50 days of triple digit temperatures in Austin. Will it never end? We look at the calendar and see it is the end of September. Soon the heat will break, the humidity will drop, the air will become cool and fresh, and we will open our windows and turn off the AC. Meanwhile we live in anticipation and hope.
In the same way, Christians live in anticipation and hope. We look forward to, or are supposed to look forward to, the Second Coming of Christ and the summation of history. The earliest Christian prayer we have is “Maranatha!” It is Aramaic, Jesus’ own language, and means, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Like the return of cooler weather, we anticipate and look forward to the coming of Jesus in triumph and judgement. Bring it on!
Every Sunday in the Creed we profess our belief that Jesus “is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.” OR we state “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.” While we probably don’t spend much time thinking about it, the teaching of the Second Coming is very important to our faith. It gives us a grounded hope in the future. Evil loses, God wins. It is already determined.
Vatican Council II teaches us that this Second Coming is already a work in progress.
“Already the final age of the world is with us (cf. 1 Cor 10:11) and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect. However, until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells (cf. 2 Pet. 3:13) the pilgrim Church, in its sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of the world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yea and await the revelation of the sons of God (cf. Rom. 8:19-22).”
So as you know that cooler days and more comfortable nights are certain to come, have faith that God’s justice will prevail. We believe, and look forward to the coming of the Lord in glory and power to establish God’s Kingdom in all of reality. Come, Lord Jesus!