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Hello Father Angelo,

my name is Francesco and I am 15. Lately I feel a great fear and grief about the “Second Coming of Christ.”

I am anxious because Jesus could arrive on Earth at any time, and that means the need of being constantly in God’s grace without ​​the certainty of tomorrow.

My greatest dream is to praise Jesus with music, go to volunteer in many countries and in short, I would like to build a good future!

Unfortunately, however, I hear testimonies of people who have seen Jesus and who repeat that His coming is imminent.

Now, the idea of ​​having to face those terrible events before His coming, that Jesus foretold, gives me chills, even if for a Christian like me it should be a beautiful thing that God comes back here doing justice.

But, I’m afraid of never being able to realize my dream because of these thoughts. I hope you understand me, Francesco

Dear Francesco,

1. I immediately reply to your email to remove any anxiety.

We are returning from yesterday’s liturgy (XXXIII Sunday of ordinary time, year B).

First, I want to tell you about the moment of the end of the world.

You may well remember the last words of the Gospel: “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mk 13:32).

The Holy Fathers and the great doctors of the Church asked themselves: how? Doesn’t Jesus know when the end of the world will happen?

Of course, He knows it because He is not just any man, but He is God made flesh.

Here Jesus would make a mental restriction. That means He knows not in order to communicate it.

Even the Angels know when the end of the world will happen. But Jesus forbade them to tell us because He wants men to always remain awake, always vigilant.

Therefore, the first conclusion is this: do not go after those who say that the final coming of Jesus is imminent.

The Lord does not want us to listen to them.

2. The Holy Fathers wanted to see an interesting thing in the parable of the fig tree that puts out its leaves and makes it clear that summer is near.

Why would the Lord speak of the fig tree and not just any tree? They say that we must remember that fig tree, which Jesus went to two or three days before His death to look for fruit because He was hungry. But He found nothing. “And He said to it, «May no fruit ever come from you again». And immediately the fig tree withered.” (Mt 21:19).

The Jerusalem Bible comments: Jesus wanted to make a symbolic gesture to warn the disobedient Israel.

However, since Saint Paul says that the Jews will convert to Christ before the end of the world (Rm 11,25.31), the Holy Fathers saw the sprouting fig tree as figuring out the Jewish people, who will also remain until the end of world (it is a prophecy by Christ!), but will finally convert.

3. Here, for example, what the venerable presbyter Bede writes: “This parable of the sprouting fig tree that can be understood mystically about the status of the Synagogue, struck by an eternal sterility at the coming of the Lord, producing no fruit of justice in those who were then incredulous.

But what do these words of the Apostle mean (Rom 11:25) «When the fullness of the nations has entered, all Israel will be saved», if not that this fig tree will finally give the fruits which it has refused until then? When you see it with its fruit, do not doubt that the time is near” ([tr.] Commentary on the Gospel of Mark).

4. Since there is no trace of the conversion of the Jews for the time being, it can be argued that this is not yet the time for Christ’s return.

Therefore, think well about how to deal with the talents that the Lord has given you, and do not let yourself be disturbed.

5. In yesterday’s Gospel you also heard that Jesus will come “with great power and glory” (Mk 13:26).

Yes, each one will see that with his or her own eyes.

But also keep in mind that – albeit invisibly – the Lord comes into you “with great power and glory” every time you take Holy Communion.

What will you not be able to do if, by remaining in grace, you allow Jesus to work in you “with great power and glory”?

6. Go forward therefore with great confidence.

You will certainly realize that plan which the Lord wanted you to dream of (“For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work”, Phil 2:13) with His help and grace.

I assure my prayers and I bless you.

Father Angelo