Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord shall come as He had promised, and the hour of His coming is drawing very near indeed. And we do not know when this will exactly happen. It is only the Lord who knows the time of His second coming, when He will come to judge all creations, and indeed, to judge all of us, whether we will be found worthy or unworthy to be with Him in the glory of heaven.
That was what the prophet Malachi, the last of all the prophets of the Old Testament had proclaimed, that the Lord will come again, and His coming will be likened to a sun of justice, the light and brightness of which shall unveil all errors and evils, cast out all things dark into its proper place, that is in the darkness of hell, which will be condemned together with those rebels and wicked ones, at the end of time.
Yes, the Lord had indeed once come into this world of ours, God incarnate into our frail body of man, and the divine who assumed the mortality of our human flesh, in Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, and yet at the same time, also the Son of God, fully man and fully divine. This is the first coming of our Lord, who came to destroy the veil of darkness that had separated us for so long from our God. This veil is sin.
The Lord had come to pierce the veil of darkness, and place in all of us, each of us, the light that belongs to Him. This is so that we truly can belong to Him who is Light, as the children of the light, and not of the false light, that is Lucifer, the fallen lightbearer, the deceiver of mankind, and the evil one. In Jesus Christ who came into our world to be our Messiah, our Saviour, exists the fullness of God’s redemption and love.
Yes, the Lord has offered us full pardon and the complete extent of His love for us. All we need is to believe in Him, believe in His death and His resurrection, through whom He had made all these possible for us. Just as He had risen from the dead and elevated into the heavenly glory, assuming His place at the right hand of the Father, we too will be raised up, just as Jesus had promised us through His disciples.
But all of these do not come free and easy, my brothers and sisters, for we have to work and toil hard for it to come about. This is just as St. Paul had said in his letter to the Church in Thessaly, how they laboured and worked hard. They laboured not only for their own sustenance, that they will not bother and be a burden to the people whom they worked with, but they also laboured for the sake of the Gospel.
That is why we too must labour and work, not in any menial way, but what we need to do is that we need to live up the faith that we have in God and show that faith through actions and through love that we show in our actions. We have to show our love for God through our actions, by serving Him wholeheartedly, and by loving our fellow men, especially those who need most of our love and help.
In us, Jesus has dwelled and remained within us, if we have accepted Him as our Lord through the waters of baptism. The Holy Spirit from the Lord dwells within each of us the faithful ones, and we become the Temples of the Holy Spirit. We have been planted with the seeds of goodness, that is with faith, hope, and love, the three most important cardinal virtues. That is why we are expected to bear fruits of faith, the fruits of hope, and ultimately the fruits of love, through our actions that reflect our nature, which itself is a reflection of God.
Jesus Himself referred to His own Body as the Temple of God, as from the time of His coming onwards, and from the time when He had fulfilled the grand plan of salvation, that is dying on the cross at Calvary, the physical Temple of Jerusalem was no longer necessary. The Temple was first built by King Solomon and prepared by his father, King David, built of great beauty and adorned with great wealth and adornments worthy of the Almighty God, Lord and King of all kings.
That Temple was razed at the fall of the city of Jerusalem and the end of the kingdom of Judea to the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. The exiled people of Israel returned to their homeland after seventy years in Babylonian exile, and built the second Temple, which lasted until the time of King Herod the Great, the same King Herod who was mentioned in the birth of Christ, the one trying to kill Jesus.
King Herod rebuilt that Temple into a magnificent Temple that we refer to as the Temple of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. It took many years to build, and it was not to be completed until decades after Jesus’ death and resurrection. And only a few years after its completion, it would be destroyed by the Romans after a failed Jewish rebellion, which saw the expulsion of the Jews from their homeland. This was the fulfillment of what Jesus had said, that the Temple as it was would not stand and remain, and would be destroyed.
But Jesus also referred to His Body, that is the Temple, which is referred to in other similar Gospel passages, where the people taunted Him when Jesus said that He will tear down the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days. The physical Temple, as we can see, has given way to the real Temple, that is Jesus Christ Himself, God incarnate. This we can see when the veil of the Temple was torn apart when Jesus gave up His life, signalling the end of separation of God from mankind.
Yes, the tearing of that veil symbolises the beginning of a new era for all mankind, that is for all of us. The veil was once used to separate the Holy of holies where God resided in the Temple, and all the people. That veil represented the separation that was present between us and God, that is the barrier preventing us from approaching God. That barrier and veil was indeed sin, our sinfulness.
Jesus tore down that veil by His death, where He brought upon Himself, the punishments for the sins of the entire world. With that singular act, He had made us all worthy once again of God, and we would no longer be impeded on our way to the Lord our Creator and our God. And Jesus has given Himself to us, that from then on, we would live in Him and He in us. Through the Most Holy Eucharist, He had resolved to come and dwell within us, making us the new Temple of His Presence.
That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, we ought to prepare, that we ensure daily cleanliness and purity of this holy Temple, that is our body and soul, as God has resided in all of us who believe in Him. We cannot contemplate to sin or commit any evil acts that will corrupt this holy Temples of ours, incompatible with God. Remember that without God we are nothing, and antagonising God is the last thing we all should think of doing.
That said, as mentioned earlier, Jesus promised us the coming end of times, and the fulfillment of salvation. He promised that we will not suffer death but receive new and eternal life, if we all remain faithful to Him. He will be a beautiful light as the sun of justice to all who believe and to all who are righteous in their ways. But to those who are wicked and keep wickedness and evil in their ways, their acts, and their thoughts, they will suffer greatly.
We should not be worried for the coming of the kingdom of God, brethren, for worrying bring about no good. Indeed, worry only distracts us from the real work that we have to do. And worry in this case, that is about our fate and our salvation, only highlight the nature of our self-centredness and our selfishness. We tend to become idle in worry and therefore fail to do what is expected from us.
We ought to love, and to show that love in our daily actions and deeds. We cannot be lax, brethren, for the coming of our Lord is known to Him alone, and that is why we must be ever ready, and ever prepared for His coming. No better way to do this, than to profess our faith daily to Him through real action and real dedication of love, of our hope, to our brethren, especially those who desperately are in need of them.
May the Lord therefore, the great sun of justice, the great and true Light of the world, shine His light upon us, on the path that we are to take, that we may keep faithfully to the path that He had shown us. Hence, we will not fall or go astray from the truth, and seek instead the lies of the devil, in the pleasures of the world. May God continue to love us, watch over us, and guide us as we approach towards His great kingdom. God bless us all. Amen.