Circular Letter No. 11/2010
November 28, 2010
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the MMP,
We recently celebrated the Feast Day of Christ the King which marks the end of the Liturgical Year. This tradition insinuates that, at the end of the world, Christ will reign in power and glory, a suggestion linking this reign with the second coming. This association is well featured in the Advent season– the first two Sundays deal with the second coming of Christ at the end of the world, and the last two Sundays focus on the first coming, His birth in Bethlehem – thus, strengthening such belief.
However, the gospels present two different scenarios, distinguishing Christ’s second coming from the end of the world. On one hand, the gospel says that Jesus will come at the end of the world to judge all peoples. In this Final Judgment, there is no more earth nor purgatory but only heaven and hell (Mt. 25: 31-46). On the other hand, the gospel also mentions about Jesus coming to earth (LK. 18:8 "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?" It is clear that in this coming, there would still be the earth, for how else would our Lord ask ‘if there would still be faith on earth’ if the earth would be no more? Likewise, Luke describes this same scenario in the Acts of the Apostles: "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into Heaven” (Acts 1:11). Our Lord will be coming “in the clouds of heaven with divine power and the fullness of Glory” (Acts 1:9). If there are clouds, then the earth would still be here when Christ returns.
The two above scenarios connote two distinct comings, aside from the first: the coming of Christ at the end of the world and His return on earth before its end in the Final Judgment. Putting this in order, the second coming refers to the former, while the third coming refers to the latter. To sum up, there are three comings of Christ.
In the message given to Fr. Gobbi, Our Lady mentions these three comings: “His second coming, beloved children, will be like the first. As was his birth on this night, so also will be the return of Jesus in glory, before his final coming for the last judgment, the hour of which, however, is still hidden in the secrets of the Father. ‘When the Son of Man comes, will He still find faith on the earth?’ He will come suddenly and the world will not be ready for his coming. He will come for a judgment which man will find himself unprepared. He will come to establish his kingdom in the world, after having defeated and annihilated his enemies. Even in this second coming, the Son will come to you through his Mother. As the Word of the Father made use of my virginal womb to come to you, so also will Jesus make use of my Immaculate Heart to come and reign in your midst (Message 166 e,h, i).
And Christ will reign in the world.
What does this reign signify? Our Lady enumerates some aspects of this glorious reign of Christ the King in Message 505. First, his reign will be established in hearts and souls. Second, this glorious reign will correspond to a flowering of all the virtues for the hearts of men will be transformed by the powerful force of the Holy Spirit who will enlighten us and lead us to the whole truth. Third, we will be drawn to live only for the glory of God, when his Divine Will is perfectly lived by all. Fourth, Satan will be completely destroyed. And, fifth, the glorious reign of Christ will coincide with the triumph of the Eucharistic reign of Christ. Christ in the Eucharist will be the new sun, which will shed its bright rays in hearts and souls, and then in the life of individuals, families, and nations, and there will only be one flock united in Christ, the Good Shepherd and King.
And we will at last see the new heavens and the new earth.
We live in exciting times. The thought of the Second Coming of Christ in glory to usher in the New Era gives us hope. Despite the present sufferings, we have all the reasons to hope. Something great and wonderful is in store for us. Let us keep vigil with the lamps of our faith, burning with light, as we await the coming of our King.
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
REV. FR. ROMERICO A. PRIETO
Marian Movement of Priests-Philippines