Friday, December 5, 2014

Adventus and the Four Last Things

The word 'Advent' is from the Latin 'Adventus,' which means 'coming.'  It is reminiscent of adveniat regnum tuum, "Thy kingdom come." Advent is now experienced as a time to get ready for Christmas: hang the lights, dress the tree, shop Black Friday, wrap the gifts and play Christmas music. Better that in this winter season we also ought to recall the facts of Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. The Four Last Things.

Within the Church today the twin heresies of universalism and indifferentism are prevalent- make no mistake about it. Many Catholics think it doesn’t really matter what religion you belong to because God is all-loving and would never send anyone to hell and besides, didn’t Jesus die to save the whole world, so we’re all going to go to heaven right after we die right?
This not right and it is certainly not Catholicism.

The traditional teaching is still true, which says that not only is death real, but so is judgement, the hope of heaven and the threat of hell. So Advent is therefore a good time to face facts. Christ is coming, but it may not be the happy party of the popular imagination, for Our Lord is the Good Shepherd, but he is also the Righteous Judge who said, “No one comes to the Father but by me.”

Universalism is false. Some people will not be saved. “Broad is the path that leads to destruction. Narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.” (Mt. 7:13)
As we prepare for the Lord's coming this season of Advent, we would do well to reflect on Christ's words at the last supper: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins....