Is the Second Coming of Christ Imminent?
by Lourdes R. Policarpio
Is the Second Coming of Christ – an event signifying the end of this world and the consequent general judgment of all men - imminent or close at hand?
Certainly, no one will dare answer, not even the Church. Such a question - and answer - may be interpreted as sensationalism and for an institution as prudent as the Church, one really cannot expect clear-cut answers. Besides, there is a line in the Bible that goes: "But as for that day and that hour, no one knows when it will come, not even the angels of God nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew, 24,v.36)
But why ask such a question in the first place? We ask because more and more people, led by holy men and women, are praying and expecting the Lord’s coming in the near future.
Before we enumerate these holy people, let us recall that during the Lord's just coming or His birth at Bethlehem, majority of the people were oblivious and unaware. Who recognized the time of the Lord's visitation? His Mother Mary of course, St. Joseph, the simple shepherds, the Three Wise Men (symbolic of the Gentiles because they were non-Jew), and later, the prophet Simeon and prophetess Anna in the Presentation at the Temple. The mighty Sanhedrin, the Council of the Jews, did not recognize Him; they even instigated His death later.
As in the First Coming, is it not wise to suppose that those who will be expectant and prepared are those whose simplicity of minds and spirit have pleased the Lord? Is it not that, most likely, private revelations to chosen ones will be the channel by which the Lord Jesus will alert His faithful ones that the time for His return is near? How dreadful to think that this line in the Bible refers to us: "At the coming of the Son of Man it will be just as it was in the time of Noah. In those days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking..." (Matthew, 24, 37-38)
To people who are not aware of literature on the Second Coming of Christ, the earliest writing we know is by St. Margaret Mary (way back in the 1600s) who said that the devotion to the Sacred Heart is meant for the last times when the hearts of men would have grown cold. The 20th century has seen the rapid growth in the devotion to the Sacred Heart. It should come as no surprise then that since the 1990s, more and more holy men and women have written of the Second Coming of Christ.
Of these holy men and women, the most difficult to simply brush aside is the testimony of St. Faustina, the apostle of the Divine Mercy. The Diary of St. Faustina narrates that the Lord Jesus gave St. Faustina the devotion to the Divine Mercy as a preparation for the end times.
On the other hand, there is an Italian priest, Fr. Stefano Gobbi, whose interior locutions found in the “Blue Book” (To the Priests: Our Lady’s Beloved Sons) have spawned the worldwide Marian Movement of Priests and Laity. Those who believe in Fr. Gobbi gather for the “cenacles of prayer” and reflect on Our Lady’s messages to Fr. Gobbi. Starting in 1973, the messages of Our Lady have given us a rich treasury of spiritual advice and insight into our times. From the 1990’s Our Lady focuses more and more on the Second Coming of her Son and she calls her followers “apostles of the last times.”
May this advent prepare us not only for a meaningful Christmas this year but also make our remaining few moments on earth, a perennial Advent: a time for preparing joyfully to meet the Lord. However long it takes… however long we wait… COME, LORD JESUS, COME.
Originally published in Totus Tuus Maria Magazine, October-December 2007
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