A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.
Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.”
Our Lord gives us an important lesson in today’s Gospel, but the reading today only gives us half the story. Christ says, “when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near” and without looking at the passages of the Bible just before where today’s reading starts, you might conclude that He is talking about the blooming of fig trees being the sign before the coming of the Lord.
However, if we look back just a few verses, Christ speaks of “signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.” Our Lords tells us that “People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” and that only then will they “see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
Roaring of the sea. Signs in the sun. That’s a bit more of an attention-getter than a blooming fig tree. But still, Jesus tells us that “when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.”
Anyone who has ever seen a really good storm either at the beach or out at sea has seen the roaring of the sea. The Miracle of the Sun was seen by as many as 100,000 people. Are we to expect to see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory?
We certainly know that He will come. The early Church expected Him at any moment. Two-thousand years of Christian history has taught us to take more of a long view of Christ’s return.
Of this we can be certain, though: Heaven and earth will pass away. But Our Lord’s words will never pass away. Christ teaches us what we need to know for our own good. We were made to know God, to love God, to serve God, and to be with Him forever in heaven. We were made to have our names written in the Book of Life.
Let us work and pray daily that when Our Lord comes, He will find all of us worthy to be with Him forever in heaven.