The Greek word for the last days of the world is eschaton. Eschatology is the branch of Theology that studies the last things like death and the second coming of Christ.
If there is a second coming of Christ, therefore, there was the first coming.
The first coming of Christ involved the following events: Jesus was born in Bethlehem. When He was about 30 years old, He began a public life. Later on He suffered, died, and was buried and rose again on the third day, and on the 40th day, ascended into heaven.
We are in the period between the first and second comings but before the Lord left for heaven, He said, “I am going to heaven and yet the spirit will be with you.” The Lord left, and yet at the same time He is with us.
If we are still looking forward to the coming of Christ, then He is not here. But on the account of what He promised before he ascended into heaven He is with us.
Christ is already here, the spirit is with us. Christ is not yet here completely because He will come for the second time at the end of time.
If the spirit of Christ is with us then we should be happy and not be bored. There should always be joy. At the same time that He is not yet completely here, we should fast, for we are still in the period of expectation. We are happy yet we are sad. We are happy because Christ is with us as He promised, we are sad as we are expecting that His coming would be completed at the end of time. We should fast and mourn but at the same time be happy.
Our Christian life is an intermingling of joy and sadness, of praises for the Lord and pleas for His mercy, an alleluia and confession, of thanksgiving to God, and of repentance for being a sinner. This is our life now.
To say that our Christian life is all penance is as wrong as to say that it is all joy. Christian life is joy with sorrow; is “alleluia to the Lord with ‘Lord have mercy.” It is “I confess” and “praise the Lord”
Let us pray to the Lord that these two graces will be in us, not as a split personality but as an intermingling in our heart. There is thanksgiving and confession, there is joy and sadness, there is suffering and praise for the Lord. Let us pray that what we celebrate in the Eucharist be first celebrated in our hearts.
Only Jesus, Always Jesus