It is true! Jesus is coming again! When, we do not know. The fact that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead can be a source of motivation for Christians. What sort of motivation, however, is the thing I would like to examine here. We can be motivated to do things, whether good or bad for fear of the consequences if we do not do them. If we do good works out of the fear of being judged unworthy of the gift of eternal life then we may be doing good and right things, but our motivation is not so good. If act out of love for God and our neighbor then we will both do good things and be well motivated.

 

It is in this light we need to examine our understanding of Jesus’ Second Coming. Yes, it is the proverbial ‘wake-up call’ that can arouse us from our turpitude, laziness and apathy, and that is a good thing. However, if we really want to live good moral lives then the next step in motivating us to act – to live and proclaim the Gospel in its fullness, must be love and not fear of judgment. We are told in the Scriptures that perfect love casts out all fear and so we know that love is the highest form of motivation. It is love of God and neighbor that we must cultivate above all other things.

 

Herein lies the challenge of true discipleship. We can easily know what we should be doing but it is often very difficult to translate this knowledge into action – into living the Gospel day by day. Jesus reminds his disciples that the world will have an end in order to instill in them a sense of urgency as to the proclamation of the Gospel. We should have that same urgency in our lives as we seek to follow Jesus twenty centuries after the apostles. We do not know the day or hour of Jesus’ Second Coming, but that does not matter! What matters is that we love him and are willing to follow where he leads us.

 

Do I tend to act out of fear or other negative emotions or reasons? Perhaps it is time for me to pray for the grace to know God’s love and mercy more deeply in my life?

 

Holy Spirit, lead me into a deeper experience of God’s love and mercy so that it will be them that motivate me to live the Christian life to the full.