Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

11/18/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Our consideration of the Second Coming of Jesus should fill us with a renewed sense of hope and it should instill in us an even greater urgency to be committed apostles of Jesus Christ.  

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/18/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: sunday homily, homily, homilies, catholic online, fr. james farfaglia, second coming


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - By now, most of you have made your plans for Thanksgiving Day.  Some of you may even have begun your Christmas shopping.  As we begin to think about the beautiful holy days that are approaching, the liturgy of the Catholic Church is directing our attention in a different direction.
 
Another liturgical year will end with the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King.  As the liturgical year ends, it is interesting to note how the flow of the Catholic liturgy focuses on the theme of the Second Coming.
 
The eschatological teachings of Jesus are very clear throughout the Gospels.  We pronounce the certainty of eternal life each time we pray together the Profession of Faith.  "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come."  The particular judgment, heaven, purgatory, hell, the last judgment, and the hope of a new heaven and a new earth are the components of this fundamental teaching of Christianity.
 
Someday, yet unknown to us, this life will end and God will judge us according to our deeds.  "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12: 2).
 
Without a doubt, the trials and tribulations of our present day have caused many people to believe that the end of the world is imminent.  Even though the troubles facing our Church, our nation and the world have many times reached apocalyptic proportions, it is very dangerous to interpret these events literally through the Book of Revelation.

Let us always keep in mind the words of our Lord: "But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son of Man, but only the Father" (Mark 13: 32).

Many people have lost hope by becoming obsessed with a pessimistic view of the events of our day.  Our consideration of the Second Coming of Jesus must fill us with joy and hope precisely because the entire mission of the Church directs our gaze toward the Second Coming. 

In the Catholic liturgy we pray: "In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ". 
 
In this Sunday's gospel narrative we find these words that speak to us clearly about the Second Coming: "But 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 heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken" (Mark 13: 24-25).

The certainty of the Lord's return in glory and the challenges of the current time of trial must instill in us a renewed missionary spirit.  It is not permissible for any Christian to retreat because of fear. All of us must become apostles bearing witness to the one who came and will come again.  Each of us must be busy in the vineyard.  There is much to be done.
      
There is no doubt that we live in a period of history that is difficult indeed.  The suffering that has been unleashed upon humanity can be overwhelming.  Nevertheless, it is imperative that we always keep in mind that history has seen many moments of trial and tribulation. 
 
"Be not afraid".  Blessed Pope John Paul II, repeating the words of the Lord Jesus, challenged all of us at the beginning of his pontificate, not to be overcome by the apocalyptic happenings of our age.

He had personally experienced the terrible assault on humanity brought about by Nazi Germany and Soviet Communism.  He, like many of his contemporaries, has been able to understand the extent of the damage that the mystery of evil has done to humanity.  However, he showed us that our entire trust must be in Christ Jesus whose final victory over evil we await with joyful hope.
 
I am not minimizing the magnitude of the challenges that confront us.  Nevertheless, I have learned that if we truly wish to experience the joy that the virtue of hope provides, we must abandon ourselves with total confidence into the loving hands of God our Father who knows all things.

It is not healthy to be obsessed with watching the news at every moment.

Personally, I have become increasingly more peaceful when I consider the challenges of our times.  I have become more and more aware that God is in charge and that the solution to most of the problems facing humanity depends on his intervention.
 
In her book, The Open Mind, Dawna Makovra wrote, "I will not die an unlived life.  I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.  I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.  I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which to me as blossom, goes on as fruit." 

The Church continually calls us to the new evangelization.  We are not to live in caves or on islands, waiting for the end of the world.  Even so, we must always be aware of the clash between the culture of life and the culture of death. 

As we consider the Second Coming of Jesus, I would like to suggest the same program of life that I have been preaching about throughout my almost twenty-five years of Catholic priesthood.

Pray: every Catholic needs a daily, mature and well-disciplined spiritual life.

Action: be a living member of the Catholic Church.

Focus: focus your apostolic activity.  Focus on your family, focus on your parish and focus on your local community. 

Is it better to curse the darkness or to light one candle? 

Pope Benedict XVI said: "Today many have a limited understanding of the Christian faith, because they identify it with a mere system of beliefs and values and not so much with the truth of God revealed in history, eager to communicate with man face to face, in a relationship of love with him.

In fact, the foundation of every doctrine or value is the event of the encounter between man and God in Christ Jesus. Christianity, before being a moral or ethical value, is the experience of love, of welcoming the person of Jesus.

For this reason, the Christian and Christian communities must first look to and help others to look to Christ, the true path that leads to God" (General Audience, November 14, 2012). 
 
Our consideration of the Second Coming of Jesus should fill us with a renewed sense of hope and it should instill in us an even greater urgency to be committed apostles of Jesus Christ.  

"In the night when all sound, all activity of men shall be silent, when the voices of all men and of all nations are still, may my soul, through its good works, shine out in you, O Jesus, light of the just.

In that hour when darkness like a cloak shall be spread over all things, may your grace, O Lord, shine on us in place of the earthly sun.  In that night which brings to an end the course of this world and all its activities, may our souls behold your wonders in that quiet which is more than silence.

In that hour, refreshing the weary through the sleep that lies on all men, may our minds be inebriated with your delights, O delight of all the Saints!  In that time of dark night, may a new sun arise for us.  Then let us take wing in that hope which was laid up for us in your resurrection" (Saint Eprhem the Syrian, deacon and hermit). 

Father James Farfaglia is a contributing writer for Catholic Online and author of Get Serious! - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics. Father's book makes a great Christmas gift for the people in your life who need to get back to God. You can visit Father James on the web at www.fatherjames.org and listen to the audio podcast of this Sunday homily.  
 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Year of Faith

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
6 your saving justice is like towering mountains, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2014 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter