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This middle coming is like a road that leads from the first coming to the last

We know that the coming of the Lord is threefold: the third coming is between the other two and it is not visible in the way they are. The first coming was in flesh and weakness, the middle coming is in spirit and power, and the final coming will be in glory and majesty.

St Bernard of Clairveaux

St Bernard of Clairveaux

WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) - We present a beautiful portion of a homily preached by St. Bernard of Clairvaux during Advent for reflection during the first week of Advent:


We know that the coming of the Lord is threefold: the third coming is between the other two and it is not visible in the way they are. At his first coming the Lord was seen on earth and lived among men, who saw him and hated him.

At his last coming All flesh shall see the salvation of our God, and They shall look on him whom they have pierced. In the middle, the hidden coming, only the chosen see him, and they see him within themselves; and so their souls are saved. The first coming was in flesh and weakness, the middle coming is in spirit and power, and the final coming will be in glory and majesty.

This middle coming is like a road that leads from the first coming to the last. At the first, Christ was our redemption; at the last, he will become manifest as our life; but in this middle way he is our rest and our consolation.

If you think that I am inventing what I am saying about the middle coming, listen to the Lord himself: If anyone loves me, he will keep my words, and the Father will love him, and we shall come to him. Elsewhere I have read: Whoever fears the Lord does good things. - but I think that what was said about whoever loves him was more important: that whoever loves him will keep his words.

Where are these words to be kept? In the heart certainly, as the Prophet says I have hidden your sayings in my heart so that I do not sin against you. Keep the word of God in that way: Blessed are those who keep it.

Let it penetrate deep into the core of your soul and then flow out again in your feelings and the way you behave; because if you feed your soul well it will grow and rejoice. Do not forget to eat your bread, or your heart will dry up. Remember, and your soul will grow fat and sleek.

If you keep God's word like this, there is no doubt that it will keep you, for the Son will come to you with the Father: the great Prophet will come, who will renew Jerusalem, and he is the one who makes all things new. For this is what this coming will do: just as we have been shaped in the earthly image, so will we be shaped in the heavenly image.

Just as the old Adam was poured into the whole man and took possession of him, so in turn will our whole humanity be taken over by Christ, who created all things, has redeemed all things, and will glorify all things.


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Keywords: Bernard, Bernard of Clairveaux, three comings, coming of the Lord, Advent


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1 - 7 of 7 Comments

  1. Brian Krieger
    3 months ago

    Thank You Jesus!!!

  2. T. Williams
    2 years ago

    This is an excellent exposition. God bless

  3. Louis Barta
    2 years ago

    There is much more to the Intermediate Coming of Christ than what St. Bernard expressed in his otherwise inspired homily on this subject. Many Bible prophecies portray the ICC as an earth-shaking event -- a Divine intervention into the affairs of mankind that, by means of violent upheavals in Nature (such as intense plasma and lightning storms), will purify the entire world of all spiritual and physical contaminants, and call into being the Biblically and Marian foretold "holy age" of peace and bounty on earth. According to the Bible and Our Lady of LaSalette, all this will take place during the brief, doomed reign of Antichrist, who will be slain by St. Michael during the Three Days of Darkness.

  4. Jim Disney
    2 years ago

    I think that the author shows merit and look forward to his return in the future.
    Thank you for spreading the riches found in the Liturgy of the Hours. Bishop Chrystostom is a pretty good writer as well. Thanks again.

  5. abey
    2 years ago

    Further to my comment, when on the mount of transfiguration & when Jesus transfigured into his Glorious state there appeared Moses & Elijah in the Glory to which Peter suggested making 3 tabernacles for Jesus, Moses & Elias as St. Luke says "Not knowing what he said" It was then a Bright cloud overshadowed them & a voice saying "This is my beloved Son---" to which the disciples fell on their face in fear before the overshadowing cloud which is to the Father, thus giving a clear indication of The "Worship" to the first commandments of God.

  6. JoAnn
    2 years ago

    I find it ironic that the readings this "Advent" are from the book of Revelation., considering what is going on in the world, at this time. Anyone else feel that way? God bless.

  7. abey
    2 years ago

    The intermediate coming of Christ in the Spirit & Power mentioned by St.Bernard does correspond to the revelation of the Covenant mentioned in 2 Maccabees 2: 7-8. which Prophet Jeremiah foresaw to be a personal relationship with God through the fulness of Christ individually in the Spirit, as also stated by Jesus of the Manner" You know not the Father neither the Son but them unto whom the Son pleases to reveal" which are the Chosen ones mentioned by St. Bernard. Enter into the rest is to the cloud in the Glory, wherein is the resting place, unto the worship, reflecting the First commandments of God to any image or likeness to anything.

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