15th Nov 2015 You do not know the hour or the day, more important is to stay awake and stand ready for the Lord’s Second Coming which is to live a life of prayer and love

Matthew 24:42 – 44 “’So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Luke 21:36 “Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to hold your ground before the Son of man.’”

Mark 13:24 – 32 “’But in those days, after that time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will come falling out of the sky and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send the angels to gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of the sky. ‘Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that he is near, right at the gates. In truth I tell you, before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place. Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. ‘But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.”

There have been many instances in history where people try to predict the coming of the Lord, and this is foolish as the Lord Jesus Christ says that nobody knows, not the holy Angels of God, but only God knows, and what is more important is to be ready. Do not be deceived by those who try to predict, for they are misled; no doubt they may appear to be wise or intelligent, but they are thieves and not the Good Shepherd, for only Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, and there is only one flock that He leads, and this is the One and Only Church founded by Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Only Church that the Apostles have handed on the teachings and traditions of Christ in its entirety in pure form. This is the only Faith in which God the Father has fulfilled the promises made to the Patriarchs and through the Prophets. For if you look at the History of Christianity, you will realise that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and He founded it to spread the Gospel of the kingdom and that all peoples and nations would be saved by the grace and love of God, not by human efforts, but by God’s grace and the response of the people to God’s call to love and holiness.

John 10:1 – 18 “’In all truth I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a bandit. He who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out all those that are his, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’ Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus spoke to them again: In all truth I tell you, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All who have come before me are thieves and bandits, but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: such a one will go in and out and will find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and runs away, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; he runs away because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and I must lead these too. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, one shepherd. The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will, and as I have power to lay it down, so I have power to take it up again; and this is the command I have received from my Father.”

Another reality to prove that Christianity’s fundamentals are true is this: the Apostles and early disciples were quite disheartened when the Lord was crucified and died upon the cross, for they followed him for 3 years and saw the great signs and miracles he worked, the voice of the Father proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and also the power of the words that Jesus Christ spoke, words that heal and cure, words that give sight to the blind, open the ears of the deaf and healing to the crippled and the lame. It was only after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and His Ascension back to God the Father and the Descent of the Holy Spirit that the Apostles and early disciples had the confidence and courage to spread the Gospel.

As in history there are liars who deny that Jesus Christ died, and the truth is Jesus Christ the Son of God came to die for all peoples to save them all, for Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the Wisdom of God, the Power of God and the only Son of God, through whom we all came into being when God created the heavens and the earth. The Holy Spirit is the witness and Advocate that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit is also the Breath of God that gives us life, and the Holy Spirit is the love of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

The mystery of God is this:He is One God, and He is Three Divine Persons; it is a mystery which the Angels and Saints in heaven contemplate in fullness. The beauty of the Creator and the Saviour is that they are One. Many antichrists, heretics and deceivers have tricked many innocent lives and souls, and they fail to recognise that the limitedness of humanity and creation is actually part of the Lord God’s design, so that as we await Him we will live lives of love and holiness, guided by His own love for us.

God is merciful to those who are merciful, and He is just to those who are unmerciful. In fact the Lord came to save sinners, so that all of us sinners may repent and with contrition come to the Lord God for mercy and grace. However for those who refuse to be saved by God, they are unable to attain salvation, for they refused the love and grace offered them by the Only Begotten Son of God, thus it is they themselves who refuse salvation and their own admittance to the Kingdom of God. For God has given us freedom of will, to choose to respond to Him in love, or to refuse His love. To accept His love will result in us turning away from sin, and gradually loving God, others and self more, in a holy way. To do so we need to always return to the love of God, return to the Good Shepherd, and to live in His love.

The truth is God does not want anyone to die in sin, for He wants all to live with Him in eternity, as we can see often in the Gospels, on what Jesus Christ tells us about the joy of God and the holy angels over repentant sinners.

Luke 15:1 – 10 “The tax collectors and sinners, however, were all crowding round to listen to him, and the Pharisees and scribes complained saying, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘Which one of you with a hundred sheep, if he lost one, would fail to leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-nine upright people who have no need of repentance. ‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, I have found the drachma I lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’”

Ultimately it is all about loving and the failure to love, for as human beings we all face similar needs of love and attention, the need to be loved firstly by God, and then we respond in love to Him, and also loving all peoples and receiving love from them as well. That was the original design, but it was the devil and his fallen angels who envied God’s love for humanity which caused sin to enter and affect creation. Though the devil and the demons have lost the war with God and the Holy Angels of God,  they will still continue to battle against the Church of God and humanity and creation.

We need not fear, because the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Saints and Angels of God are on our side, and with God and His entire Kingdom on our side, all we need to do is to respond to the Lord’s invitation to live our lives in love and holiness, and this can only be done if we dedicate our lives as a prayer to the Lord. It is important to work and pray in cooperation with God’s grace which is freely given to us.

We do not know when the Lord will come again, but one thing is for sure, and that is if we keep His commandments which are not just about avoiding sin, but more about loving and living an authentic relationship with God, putting Christ in the centre of all we do and all we are. God is love, and we need His love, a perfect love that drives out fear, a love that never ends.

1 Corinthians 13:4 – 13 “Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways. Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known. As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.”

1 John 4:1 – 5:4 “My dear friends, not every spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world. This is the proof of the spirit of God: any spirit which acknowledges Jesus Christ, come in human nature, is from God, and no spirit which fails to acknowledge Jesus is from God; it is the spirit of Antichrist, whose coming you have heard of; he is already at large in the world. Children, you are from God and have overcome them, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world, and therefore the world inspires what they say, and listens to them. We are from God; whoever recognises God listens to us; anyone who is not from God refuses to listen to us. This is how we can distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood. My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love. This is the revelation of God’s love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him. Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins. My dear friends, if God loved us so much, we too should love one another. No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us. This is the proof that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us a share in his Spirit. We ourselves have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as Saviour of the world. Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have recognised for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. Love comes to its perfection in us when we can face the Day of Judgement fearlessly, because even in this world we have become as he is. In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love. Let us love, then, because he first loved us. Anyone who says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, is a liar, since whoever does not love the brother whom he can see cannot love God whom he has not seen. Indeed this is the commandment we have received from him, that whoever loves God, must also love his brother.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and whoever loves the father loves the son. In this way we know that we love God’s children, when we love God and keep his commandments. This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome, because every child of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.”

Love is the reason why God made creation, because God who is unchangeable and unmoveable is Perfect Love. God’s divine nature is love. And human beings, being the ultimate work of the Lord God’s hands created in His very own image and likeness, are called to be holy and to love. Let us glorify and thank God the Father and Jesus Christ His only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit, together with the company of Saints and choirs of holy Angels.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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