In our salvation history screenplay, we now enter the last act. We are beginning to know the end of the story God started writing for us since our creation. And the ending is awesome.
What has preceded us was the creation of the universe and of mankind. He establishes marriage with Adam and Eve as a hint of his future relationship with his Church. God’s wish is to be with us, yet man’s sinfulness causes us to separate from God.
We’ve seen God prepare us for baptism with Noah and with Abraham he plants the seeds for John and Jesus’ miraculous births. He has laid the groundwork for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and institution of the Eucharist with Passover. He’s established the future roles of Mary and Peter in the future church with the Ark of the Covenant and his design of the Davidic Kingdom.
He has foretold of future sufferings and future salvation, not only of Israel, but of all, from the coming savior.
He has used those in human history who are open to his will to tell our salvation story, to prepare his people, for his ultimate act of love and humility…
Here, everything God has put into place finally comes to fruition.
He has done everything necessary to prepare us for this moment. He has given us symbols and signs, portents and prophecies, messengers and holy leaders.
At last we are ready for his arrival; the Word now is made flesh in the womb of God’s humble hand maiden.
Try to wrap your brains around this incredible event. The creator of the universe, of all that is seen and unseen, of all that we know and all that we will never know… this creator, master, father, Lord is going to humble himself, lower himself and become one of his simple creations. Both human and divine.
It’s like one of us becoming a piece of mold, or an amoeba, except 10 billions times more humble.
And why does he do this?
Because God loves us. A love far greater, deeper, more enveloping, welcoming and perfect than any love we could imagine.
God wants to spend eternity with us. He loves his creation and simply wants to be with us. To do so, we must live a holy life. Sin separates us from God. That is why Jesus tells us to “go and sin no more” and calls us to “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
No servant is greater than its master. The Apostles learned this first hand from Jesus, watching him love, forgive, heal, serve others and lower himself as he washed their feet.
And, we should remember that we have an even greater example of such humility in God’s own will to lower himself, to be one of us, so that he could fix what we had broken, so that he could rebuild what we had destroyed… a direct path to him.
Jesus, in his short time on earth, is the New and Everlasting Covenant. He expands our covenant with God from between God and a nation (David) to between God and ALL nations (Jesus).
He gives us the beatitudes, his love, his healing, his grace, his example and his obedience.
In the garden, facing the very same serpent that challenged Adam and Eve, Jesus, the New Adam, was willing to sacrifice whatever was required to do the Lord’s will.
He heals the fissure caused by sin.
He takes that burden of sin and puts it on his shoulders, his cross, and welcomes his torture and sacrifice so that we, his children, can be with him for eternity.
Like the original passover lamb, he shows us how to overcome death, but this time it is the death caused by sin. He rises from the dead and establishes the leadership of the Church. After a long trek to Emmaus he breaks bread with his followers, revealing himself in the Eucharist.
He ascends into Heaven and sends us his Holy Spirit at Pentecost, imbuing God directly into the Church, his Mystical Body of Christ. We are his bride and he is the bridegroom. We are united, as in marriage, and it will never be put asunder… the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
The Second Coming
And now we get to the last 10 pages, the Climax of the story.
In Revelations we see the establishment of the Mass, the recognition of Mary as the New Ark and God’s kingdom in the New Jerusalem.
And, lastly, our story ends with the greatest of all finishes… the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Like any good blockbuster, the story ends with a bunch of awesome special effects with angels and chains and dragons and serpents and fire and robes and sulfur and beasts.
We are told of how Jesus will return, coming in great glory and power. He will arrive in the clouds and will send his angels to gather everyone from every corner of the earth.
He warns us his arrival will be unexpected and that, when he comes, the heavens will pass away with a loud and mighty roar. The elements will be dissolved by fire and everything we have done while here on earth will be made known.
And finally, both the great and the lowly will stand before our Almighty God where he will open the scrolls in the book of life. He will read of our deeds and we will be judged accordingly. Anyone whose name was not written in the book of life are thrown into hell, the “pool of fire.”
And the last thing God tells us, like a stern, yet loving father anxiously waiting to spend time with his children:
“Behold, I am coming soon… I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
God is the beginning and the end. The author who always knew the end of the story.
God will expect us to know this important story, to understand his plan for our salvation and to accept the sacrifices required to be obedient. He will judge us justly and with mercy.
Then, if we are so blessed, our personal screenplay will end the way it began and as God intended, spending eternity in his loving, holy presence.
At which point God will type, in true screenwriter form, the closing words: FADE OUT.