Sunday, October 16, 2016

Reflection: Luke 18:1-8

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Luke 18:1-8

In today’s Gospel, there is a clear sense that we are coming to the end of the current liturgical year.  The new liturgical year begins with the Season of Advent.  The readings of the final Sunday of the Church Year are somewhat unsettling.

Jesus talks with his disciples about the “end time.”  He tells them that the “sun will be darkened, the moon will not give any light, the stars will fall from the sky and all the powers in heaven will be shaken.”  Now ask yourself: If you heard these words today, would you panic or would you take them seriously?

At various times, we have heard predictions about the end of the world.   Yet, I would guess that many of us do not take these predictions too seriously.  When you get up in the morning, do you wonder if this day will be the last day of life in all of creation? I know I don’t.  I simply assume that another day will come and then another and another.

Yet in this Gospel, Jesus clearly tells us the “end time” will come.  And when it does come, we will see “the Son of Man coming in the clouds in great power and glory.”  He will send his angels out to gather the elect from one end of creation to the other.  Primarily, Jesus wants his disciples to be prepared for his coming.

In an urgent tone of voice, Jesus instructs his disciples to notice signs.  He also tells them to “learn a lesson from the fig tree.”  Jesus uses images that the disciples are familiar with.  Thus, they might better understand what he is telling them.  He then says: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”  Jesus somberly adds: “But of that day or hour, no one knows: neither the angels, nor the Son, only the Father knows.”

Clearly Jesus is telling us to be vigilant and prepared for his coming.  Ask yourself: Do you believe that Jesus is coming?  Do you believe that he comes to you every day?  Are we awake and alert for his coming?  Do we recognize him?  Or are we too preoccupied to notice him?

Every day is a good day to prepare for Jesus’ final coming.  However, it may be more important to look for him throughout our day.  If we are not alert, we likely will miss the quiet and unobtrusive ways Jesus comes to us.  What a loss that would be!  Today be vigilant and alert!  Jesus will come to you!

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