"To live Christian hope on the basis of imminent
expectation of the second coming does not mean
sacrificing its social and political responsibility but
the reverse: injecting the urgency imposed by time
and the need to act into a responsibility that has been
robbed of its tension by extending the expectation of
the second coming to infinity - on that has been
diluted and deferred."
(The Second Coming, Metz, 1979)
Metz stresses two main keys: Future and Present. The future is a hope, a hope on a basis of imminent expectation of the second coming. In this hope, a faith helps, supports, and guides each Christian to make that hope alive. Along with the future hope, the present is the time of reality for a Christian living in the world. In this world, suffering due to social and political oppression is happening everywhere. Metz urges that we look forward in expectation of the second coming in real action, not mere dreams.
Christians have worked towards realizing that hope. In doing so, our hope becomes more realistic. We must take social and political responsibility seriously always. As long as human beings exist, they must carry out the task of reducing that suffering which is due to social and political oppression to a minimum level without ceasing. Faith gives Christians hope; however, it is faith that does justice that brings forth solutions to our problems since God works through human beings in creating the kingdom.
Prepared by James Viet Tran, S.J.
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