He Will Come Again
by John Connelly
Imagine if Jesus were coming back in one week.
Imagine if we knew it with total certainty.
What if we knew that He was coming in all his glory
to judge the living and the dead?
If we knew that we, and everyone we know, would give
an account to the King of kings?
(No, I do not think the Lord is returning next week.
But I want to explore the idea of his return as a
way of examining our lives.)
If we had only one week left…
I think we would become very, very focused.
I think we would start to see that, much of what
we do, is unnecessary.
Our priorities would change.
I think our relationship with God and others
would be seen in a new and intense light.
Little things would not bother us so much
because we would know our time is short.
I think our prayer life would become more important
than television, internet, and the million distractions
our society creates.
I think our daily interactions with others would
become more real, more generous, more life-giving.
Yes, if Jesus were coming in a week, we would probably think
twice about the state of our thoughts, words, and actions.
We would probably realize the truth, that life is short,
in a new and startling way.
The trouble is that we too often put off the important things in life.
We tell ourselves… “I still have lots of time.”
But the truth is- we do not know. Time flies. It really does.
We do not know when our lives will end.
It could happen in one minute, one year, or in twenty years.
But Jesus said very clearly that we should “watch.”
He said that we do not know the day or the hour of his coming
but we should always be prepared.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church there were monks who
used to build their own coffins by hand.
Then they would put it outside the door of their room.
They would see their hand-built coffins when they came and went –
day after day – a stark reminder that this could be the day
when they die. Each day could be the day when they would give
an account for the life they had lived.
Imagine if we all did the same.
It would be one way to remind us to live each day
to the full. (Though our neighbors and friends might
think we’ve gone off the deep-end.)
Catholics speak of “meditating on the last things” –
and this is a really good help, in getting in touch with reality.
The thought of death and judgment, is actually a great way
to see what is really important.
Is God really the first priority in our lives?
Do we put prayer ahead of entertainment?
Are we allowing our lives to make a real impact
on those we love?
Are we ready to meet Jesus, to see the truth of our lives,
to face the reality that every one of us must face?
Today I am meditating on three simple words:
“I – Love – You”
I am praying these words.
Allowing Jesus to speak them to my heart.
Allowing my life to speak them back to him.
Allowing the great “I love you” of God to
reach out to all in our lost and broken world.
I know I am not always the instrument of
God’s love I aspire to be.
A man who lived up the road from my family killed
himself yesterday. He told his wife he was just
going outside… but then he shot himself.
He was depressed and could no longer face
the pain of his existence.
I did not know him well but I can picture his face
in my mind. Is there something I could
have said or done?
How many people do you and I meet on any given day?
Do we allow the Lord to speak his love and say
“I love you” to others – by the way we live?
This poor, battered, suicidal man, is a stark reminder to me.
A reminder of the oft quoted words of Henry David Thoreau…
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation” –
a reminder that I need to make my life count.
This is not a dress rehearsal.
All around the desperation grows.
This world needs Jesus.
This world needs – LOVE – and – MERCY WITHOUT END.
Today I am living the one life I have been given.
How is it impacting my family, my friends,
my co-workers, and all I meet on my daily path?
I think if we knew Jesus was coming
we’d be a little more bold. A little more outspoken about the Greatest News in Human History…
God loves us passionately.
He has a purpose for us all.
Jesus died on the Cross to forgive our sins
and give us a New Beginning.
His Passion and Cross shout out
“I love you” to the human race.
The Risen Jesus loves every man, women, and child
and he calls us each by name.
This Gospel message is the good news that
never dies or grows old.
Why are we so shy with the truth?
St. Francis used to greet everyone with
the cry… “God’s peace be with you.”
His life shouted the love of God.
He was a living flame reaching out to his generation
with the revolutionary love of Christ.
Everywhere he went, hearts began to burn with Divine Fire.
Untold thousands began to live the gospel in a new and dynamic way.
“We have been called to heal wounds,
to unite what has fallen apart,
and bring home those who have lost their way.”– St Francis
I think we all know that it’s time.
Time for you and I to prepare the way for Jesus.
Time for us to let the great
“I love you” of Jesus penetrate us,
renew us, and change the world.
Because the fact is.
He Will Come Again.
He will come on that Great Day
when all will stand before him in awe.
And he comes to meet us each day on this
wonderful, sometimes difficult, but always surprising journey of life.
So let us renew our life in prayer.
Let us reach out to someone today.
Let our lives say –
“I love you” –
now and forevermore.
For we know…He Will Come Again.