He Will Come Again!

Acts 1:10-11
And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”

For some, it is so easy to forget the Jesus is not a historical figure, but a Presence who is, at this minute, on the very verge of breaking through the gossamer webs of what we call “reality” with all the force of the Big Bang and more.  Relegating Jesus to Long Ago is to forget that Jesus is Coming each day: in particular judgments, in awesome acts of mercy, in prayer, in the sacraments, in the strange, quiet, life-changing parousia of the Blessed Sacrament.  Further, relegating Him to Coming in sacramental ways is to forget that Jesus is Coming – Big “C” Coming – at the consummation of all things to judge the world.  Today, get ready.  He’s coming.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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    We should add to Mark's list of His "Coming each day" the two most eminent modes by which He does come each day: Liturgy and Scripture. Interesting that Benedict expresses concern of the mistaken concept of parousia as pertaining primarily or solely to a future second coming of a now historic figure. According to Benedict, this view is traceable to the unfortunate separation of Scripture from liturgy. According to him, many of the NT references to second coming as a future cosmic event are actually expressions of His actual and experienced presence in the liturgy of the early church expressed in the language of liturgical tradition.

    Rather than referrring to a distant parousia, "…these texts form a part of a description of the mystery of the parousia in the language of litugical tradition…The parousia is the highest intensification and fulfillment of the liturgy."

    However, once the Enlightenment's legacy of separatng Scripture from liturgy reached "maturity" among some /many modern exegetes, this vital connection between liturgy and Scripture resulted in a loss of the true Biblical sense of parousia – as a here and now presence of Christ who comes especially in Liturgy and Scripture.

     Doubtless, there is NT refernece to a future cosmic parousia. But Our Lord discouraged speculation and preoccupation about it. Perhaps He wishes to direct us to the nunc aeternum of the overwhelming Mystery of His continual and present parousia in liturgy and Scripture.For He is coming in both.