November 10, 2011 - Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the Church

Today's Readings

The first coming of Jesus was hidden. He came as the infant child of poor parents. When he had been here for 31 years, he revealed himself with signs and wonders, not to the whole world but only in a small part of the world. The second coming of Jesus will be like lightning. He will come in power and glory and judge the whole earth.

Between the first coming and the second coming is a middle coming of Jesus Christ, in which he comes through his disciples. When Paul came to Corinth preaching Jesus, that was the first time Jesus had been in Corinth. Someday Jesus is going to appear in the sky, and the whole world will end like the flipping of a switch. Until that day, he comes invisibly. On that day he will come whether people want him to or not. Until that day, he only comes with our cooperation. This middle coming of Jesus is fulfilled when he is preached in every corner of the world.

Of course, the corners of the world are not measured geographically. There are not four corners of the world; there are 7 billion corners of the world. The day is coming, thanks to widespread communication and easy worldwide travel, when every human will have heard the Gospel. Then Jesus will have arrived in every corner of the world, even if he is rejected by many as he was rejected by his own generation.

This middle coming is fulfilled in us, his disciples. We are missionaries to the corners of the world. If you are not called to bring Jesus to Japan, you are called to bring Jesus to the Japanese restaurant down the street. If you are not called to preach the Gospel in the street bazaars of India, you are called to preach the Gospel in the mall downtown.

But how can we bring Jesus into the mall if we do not have him in ourselves? The middle coming of Jesus begins when he comes into our lives, into our souls. Each of us is a beachhead where God can begin the invasion of the world. When I have allowed him to conquer me and establish his kingdom right here, then I will become a launching point for further incursions.

When it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and you and you, he, while remaining one, will be many, and will reach everywhere.