1. The two comings of Christ.
There are two comings of Christ on earth. The first coming was on Christmas day; the second coming is on General Judgment day.
His first coming on Christmas Day is a figure of His second coming on the end times celebrated in the Liturgy on the feast of Christ the King. We celebrate Christmas to remind us of Christ the King.
2. First coming a preparation for the second coming.
Christ same at His first coming to prepare us for His Second coming. Many lessons during His first coming are precisely lessons on how to prepare for the second coming. Let us learn from Christmas, of which Advent is a preparation, how to prepare ourselves for the ultimate test, the day before General Judgment Day.
3. Difference between the two comings of Christ.
Out of the four Sunday Gospels of Advent three continues to describe the end times, i.e. the Feast of Christ the King. Only on the fourth Sunday of Advent does the Mass refer to the first coming of Christ. So Advent in effect is continuing to describe General Judgment Day.
The slight difference between the two comings of Christ is this; first, Christ came 'with mercy' on His first coming. 'Mercy' because no matter how grievous man's sins are and no matter how numerous, if man repents God would forgive him with not much ado. Man's repentance is insufficient for the forgiveness of his sins before God, considering how seriously sins offend God. But God's mercy is shown in that no matter how much and how serious man's sins are.....as long as he repents (which is very little demanded of man) God will forgives him. But there is no forgiveness when there is no repentance. So Mercy is dependent on man's ability to do his very small part; i.e. his repentance.
During the second coming of Christ, the second reading says 'The Lord is Justice.' No mercy? No mercy! Because by the second coming, Christ had provided the world with everything needed for the salvation of souls. The Gospel would have been preached everywhere. There will be absolutely nothing that God had not done for man to save his soul. So it is accounting time. God will ask how man had used everything He had given him.
So the 'Year of Mercy' this year is out of place. It should be 'Year of Justice' because the signs of the approaching General Judgment are all around, as we shall see later. And the missionaries of mercies instructed to go around and mess up the world are also out of place. There is nothing to mess up because the world is already in such a mess. We need preachers like St.Vincent Ferrer.
Another difference is this: because, during His first coming Christ came in mercy to teach men how to save his soul, He gave men apostles, Fathers of the Church, Doctors of the Church and other saints to keep on instructing him how to save his soul.
Since during the first coming God in His mercy had given men all he needed, at the approach of His second coming, there will be no one to teach man how to go to heaven; thus the sun, the moon and the stars will lose its light; i.e. most cardinals, bishops, priest and theologians will be ignorant of the teachings of Christ. Teaching time is over. Now is time for justice and judgment.
4. Similarities. Facts during the first coming of Christ is showing us what will happen during His second coming.
During His first coming none of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to welcome Him. They were all busy celebrating with King Herod. In fact, the very priests of the Chosen people would plot to kill the babe.This will be repeated on Good Friday. No priest or bishop will be fighting for Christ. They will, in fact, contrive to kill Him. The few who would like to defend Him had been silenced.
During Christ second coming most priest will not be around to welcome Him. In fact, most of them will be on the look out to destroy every vestige of the true Church.
The Fathers noted that only two kinds of people found Christ on Chrismas day; the shepherds and the Magi. Both engaged in the natural activity of watching and praying.
The Gospel of the first Sunday of Advent precisely noted that the way to prepare for the second coming of Christ is by watching and praying as the Magi and shepherds did on the first coming. In Ascetical theology this is the description of contemplative prayer. And in the 'new' evangelization of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the preachers of the new evangelization should be contemplatives.
5. Signs of the end times.
It is Catholic truth that there will be an end of the world. The end of the world will be accompanied by signs like earthquake, tsunamis, storms and signs from the skies. On the earth are terrors that makes the earth tremble. But there is a sign that will show that the end is not only around the corner, but that it is by the doorway.
St. Paul calls it 'the great apostasy.' when most of the members of the hierarchy, being ignorant of the truths, will be preaching heresies. God, Himself, had prepared the Church for this by giving us the list of these heresies in the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX and Pius X. These heresies extends from liberalism, to modernism and to the establishing of a new protestant sect; heresies all around us today. These heresies will be disseminated in the Church by priest, bishops, cardinals and even by one sitting in the throne of Peter which the ancient prophesies had clearly described as an anti- Pope.
So the sign in which Pope Francis issues a 'Motu propio' allowing divorce which is against the teachings of God, proposes welcoming perverts which are sins that cry out to heaven, and preaches a new protestant sect called church of compassion and mercy to replace the Church of Christ, tells us we have arrived at that time. He is not alone. With him is a host of cardinals, bishops, priests and countless laymen who do not know any better.
There are many good cardinals and bishops yet. But they are not our own bishops but somebody else's bishop. What if our own bishop and priests are the ones in darkness?
6. The solution given in the Gospel of the Mass today is 'watchfulness' and 'prayer.' This is the atmosphere described by Popes John Paul II and Benedict in their 'new evangelization.' In this evangelization, we are not supposed to listen to preachers nor attend schools of theology. We are supposed to be watchful and pray; and in this way God directly infuses us with supernatural knowledge of the Catholic Faith.
Watchfulness consist in mastering Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church and seeing to it that the truths we accept are according to their teachings. Knowledge of Scriptures and Tradition is necessary in watchfulness otherwise on what shall we base our watchfulness.
Prayer must be contemplative or unceasing. This is better described by Blessed John Newman in his; I with my sins unceasingly present before God in His Justice.