Promise of a second coming
GOD’S WORD TODAY - GOD’S WORD TODAY By Jesus V. Fernandez, S.J. () - November 19, 2006 - 12:00am
What is the second coming of the Lord to us – a promise or a warning? We live on the promise of Jesus that He will come again, not as a newly-born babe in a poor animal’s manger one cold midnight in Bethlehem. Yes, the people chosen by God to prepare for His coming did not recognize Him. How could they? The Messiah they envisioned would descend from heaven to the blare of trumpets, pompous in His power and majesty, with every costly diadem shooting like scimitars from crown to jeweled hilt. And He would be all-golden, scattering gold and silver to His chosen people from Abraham. After the Messiah everything in their life would henceforth be milk and honey. That was the dangerous utopia of the old chosen ones whom Moses led into the promised land. It was the world of the proud. The first coming was indeed disappointing for limelight-seekers, for tinsel-lovers, for power-players. To all of us who still seek this earth’s illusioning, the second coming of the Lord surely is a warning and we are frightened at the thought of catastrophes which cannot but make us fear and tremble.

Men will see Jesus riding the clouds "with great power and glory" so says Mark 13:26. We can add to this; in all the beauty of His Person, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, with all the light which will shed its eternal luster from His glorified Body. Words cannot say what beauty it is which no eye has seen nor ear heard; but that it will dissipate all darkness after every creation is gone. It is like the necessity of putting off all stage lights so the spotlight could focus on the leading figure. So of necessity, in the last act of the world’s drama, "the sun will be darkened, the moon will not shed its light, stars will fall out of the skies, and the heavenly hosts will be shaken."

And our gospel gives the great promise that "He (Jesus) will dispatch his angels and assemble his chosen from the four winds, from the farthest bounds of earth and sky."

Who are His chosen? Those who have not put their treasures in earthen vessels seeing the grandeur of God in the greatness of the sun, His eternal light in every star and His beauty in every tree and flower. Every creature exists for God’s glory. But we are not to attach our heart to any creature to the detriment of our relation with God; and that no creature should become necessary for our joy. Even His creation pales as we live from day to day this mortification of the heart, so that our spiritual seeing and loving God may grow in clarity with every sacrifice of earthy goods, of earthy pleasures, even the sacrifice of sun and moon and stars. And we got used to the exercise of giving utterance in our lives to the very word that God is the source of everything and to God everything returns.

When the day comes, when sun and moon and stars shall be no more, then we will know that all passing things are dung and that we find our only true happiness in God alone. Heaven and earth passes away but not God, not the Word. For us who have learned to live this truth, the second coming of the Lord will surely be a promise, the Word being ever the promise from the beginning before the day star and fulfillment at the end of time.
33rd Sunday in OT, Mk 13, 24-32
The Jesuit Vocation Promotions Team invites male college students and young professionals to a Vocation Seminar intended for those who are considering the priesthood or brotherhood in the religious life. It will be held on November 26, 2006, Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Garage, Sonolux Bldg., Ateneo de Manila University Campus, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. For more details, please contact the Jesuit Vocation Promotions Office at telephone number 426-6101 or e-mail at You can also visit the website of the Philippine Jesuits at

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