FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
PURITY AND THE PAROUSIA
December 4, 2011
Today’s reading: 2 Peter 3:8-14
Jesus will return once again in glory. That will be an exciting time, as “the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire” (2 Pt 3:10).
Now here is the amazing thing: we can hasten the second coming of Christ! How? By our holiness. “Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Pt 3:11-12a). God does not wish “that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pt 3:9b). We repent and turn to the Lord in faith, calling upon Him such that we are saved. God’s action does not stop there. We then grow in faith, and we walk along the path of holiness. We are constantly being purified, such that we can be as the spotless bride prepared for the groom. When the bride is prepared, then Christ will return.
“Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him” (2 Pt 3:14). In other words, live pure.
Those of us who love and live Christ eagerly await his coming. Indeed, we are already in the end times. “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.” (2 Pt 3:8). So whether Jesus returns tomorrow or waits for another millennium (or more), we are given our day-to-day opportunity to grow in purity of life.
Our purity of life will not only help hasten Jesus’ return, but will also hasten our finally entering into eternal life with him, since our time in Purgatory will be lessened. Live pure, and look with expectant hope to the parousia, as “we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Pt 3:13).