“Wait for and hasten the Day of the Lord.”
The notion of waiting for the day of the Lord is not all that difficult to understand. However, how does one hasten the Day of the Lord?
A common notion in the philosophy of the Roman-Graeco world is that of acting in a morally ethical way to bring about the culmination of the present age. Several of the writers of the Christian Scriptures employ Greek and Roman philosophy in their reasoning. Here in the Second Letter of St. Peter, he speaks of awaiting a new heaven and a new earth. The Greeks divided up human history into various eras or ages. With each passing age, a new era was initiated after a period of trial.
For the Christian, hastening the day on which the new era will be inaugurated can be accomplished in two ways. First we can live as Jesus has asked of us. Keeping the commandments and loving both God and neighbor compose our code of conduct. However, Jesus has also told us to take up the cross and to follow Jesus. So a second way to hasten the Day of the Lord would be to walk in the footsteps of our Crucified Savior, bearing the cross that has been given to us.
Both St. Peter and St. Paul agree about this notion. It is obvious that it is not enough to simply wait for Jesus’ return. We can participate in the work of redemption by hastening the day on which Jesus will return with salvation for all believers.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator