There is a third advent which stands in the middle between the two of which we have spoken, wherein such as have knowledge thereof enjoy a most pleasant repose.
The other two are visible, the third is not. In the first advent, Jesus Christ appeared on earth and conversed with men. This is the time when, according to His own testimony, “but now they have both seen and hated” Him (Jn. 15:24). But in the last, “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Lk.3:6), and those who crucified Him, will be able to contemplate Him (Jn. 19:37). In the middle one He is hidden, visible only to the elect who see the Savior within them and their souls are saved.
In the first advent, Jesus Christ comes in our flesh and in our weakness; in the second He comes in spirit and in truth; and in the third He shall come in glory and in majesty. But it is by virtue that glory is reached, as the Psalmist sings, “the Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory” (Ps. 23:10), and again according to these other words of the same Prophet: “so in the sanctuary have I come before Thee, to see Thy power and Thy glory” (Ps. 62:3). The second advent is therefore the way we must travel from the first to the third. In the first, Jesus Christ is our redemption; in the third, He will be our life, while in the second He is our rest and our consolation, so we may “sleep among the midst of lots” (Ps. 67:14).
Title : La Vierge adorant l’Enfant-Jésus
Artist : Correggio
Date : 1520