Prepare to meet the Lord Jesus Christ
The Gospel of Matthew contains a couple of verses that have intrigued many people: “Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left (Mt 24:40-41).” These verses, along with a couple of other verses from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, which says: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord (1Thes 4:16-17),” have been misinterpreted by some people as the basis for believing in what they have come to call the “rapture.” The “rapture” is a belief that those who are “saved” will mysteriously disappear from earth before the great tribulation, thereby sparing them from the worldwide cataclysms, wars, suffering and persecutions.
However, the traditional interpretation of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 refers to the gathering of the elect with Christ at His Second Coming. At the resurrection of the dead, who have died in Christ will be raised and transformed into a glorious state together with all those who are living in Christ; i.e., they will be caught up to be one with Christ.
On the other hand, the Gospel passage in Matthew chapter 24 in which “one will be taken and one will be left” while both are doing their ordinary, everyday jobs is an exhortation for Christians to stay awake and to be prepared for the Second Coming of Christ! In the same Gospel passage, Jesus pointed out that, in the days of Noah, people were so immersed in everyday worldly pursuits that they did not pay attention to the imminent disaster of the great flood. They were caught unaware until the flood carried them all away.
During Advent, Christians are called to prepare not only for Christmas but more importantly for the Second Coming of Christ. We are urged to genuinely repent of our sins and to strive to live the Christian life, so that we are prepared to meet Christ at any moment. True repentance means more than just being sorry for sin; it means making a commitment to turn away from sin and actually making changes in one’s behavior to avoid sin. Here are some practical things to do during Advent:
- Make a good confession – examine your conscience, express sorrow for sins and approach the Sacrament of Penance with a firm purpose of amendment.
- Make time for God – make time for prayer and scriptural meditation.
- Make sacrifices each day – give alms to the poor or give up something each day.
December 9 is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The Mass on December 9 will be celebrated at 12:00 pm in English.
This year’s Giving Tuesday will be on December 3, 2019. From November 18 to December 3, invite your relatives and friends to make an online donation to HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHINESE CATHOLIC MISSION in the igivecatholic.org website. Our church has several capital projects planned, which includes fixing the roof leaks and finishing the second floor in the Education Building, and constructing a pavilion and mini-playground for our children.
|HOW TO MAKE A DONATION:
1. Go to igivecatholic.org
2. Click on GIVE BACK
3. Select ARCHDIOCESE OF ATLANTA
4. Select HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHINESE CATHOLIC MISSION
5. Make a donation!
The gift shop is having its annual pre-Christmas sale. Drop by the gift shop and save from 5% to 25%. All items are discounted. Christmas cards are now available!