John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. We have probably heard that said dozens of times on his feast days in Church. What does it mean for us today? John the Baptist died 2000 years ago. What is his relevance for us today?

Just as John prepared the way for the coming of Jesus the first time, so we are to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus the second time! The first time Jesus came in the humility of the Incarnation to be our Savior. The second time He will come in all His glory and majesty to judge both the living and the dead. I think preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus will have to be a little more extensive than the first. What are we doing to contribute to this end?

John the Baptist’s preparation involved challenging people to repent of their sins. The fullness of victory over sin, however, only comes with the death and resurrection of Jesus! We, therefore, are empowered to live in a much greater form of victory over sin than those who listened to John’s preaching. Our lives can and ought to be qualitatively different to those who did not have this gift. Are our lives any the better for the victory over sin that Jesus has given us? Hopefully we will all be waiting for him with open arms and expectant and jubilant hearts.

The very least we can do is to ensure our own readiness. Better still if we can help others be ready as well!

Am I ready to welcome Jesus should He arrive on earth tomorrow? If not, why not? We do not know when He will return and thus we ought to be ready for it at any time. Only the Father knows the Hour of Jesus’ return.

Jesus, you have given me so much in the gift of salvation. Help me to live fully the gift of new life that you won for me on the cross. Help me also to share this Good News with everyone I know!

To live lives of holiness is the primary way in which we prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus. Holy living is also the best form of evangelization by which we can draw others into lives of faith in Jesus. When Jesus comes again the Church ought to be able to give Him a resounding welcome. What a shame if we do not recognize Him as there will be no more second chances after He arrives. The Second Coming of Jesus is definitive and final. After it there is judgment.