THE SIGNS ARE ALL AROUND US WE ONLY HAVE TO LOOK ....
An opportunity to spend time in prayer
THE SIGNS ARE ALL AROUND US – WE ONLY HAVE TO LOOK FOR THEM
What signs of God working do I see today? In my own life? In the world around me?
The universe is ancient; its millions of years of age boggle the mind. And yet it is passing; an ephemeral thing compared to the word of God which will not pass away.
In the scriptures of the last few days Jesus has been telling us about the passing of things and the d
readful events associated with the ending of things as we know them. Today he sums it up with the story of the fig tree. Jesus is telling us to notice the signs of the times that will help us to discern between what is of true value and what is passing.
The words of Jesus have a truth that will never pass away.
This parable could be used to illustrate part of what we mean today by "discernment". The word is applied to a proce
ss of searching for God's will and deciding how to respond to it. Through gospel contemplation we allow ourselves to absorb the attitudes and values of Jesus. These then become the criteria by which we evaluate the situation in which we find ourselves and the particular issue calling for a decision. In a way we are looking for "signs". These will not be cosmic disturbances in the heavens but inner movements of spiritual consolation or desolation.
As the liturgical year ends is there anything in my life that I need to discern? If so, I pray that I may recognise the signs and interpret them correctly.
That is a hard lesson to learn: that when our lives are disturbed and uncertain, the kingdom of God is near. He is present in our sorrowful mysteries as well as our joyful. St John of the Cross used to say: Love is the fruit of faith, that is to say, of darkness. We cling to you, Lord, in our uncertainty. Lord, you are always telling us to be ready. Something is going to hap
pen. Nature astonishes us with new life every spring, and in the same way God will astonish us with a fresh spring in ourselves. Keep that sense of hope awake in me. I remember Belloc’s lines: Kings live in palaces and pigs in sties. But youth in expectation. Youth is wise.
Jesus, you seem to have learnt so much from nature! Grant me the same awareness so that I may learn the presence, action and care of God in my life.
Mention of this fig tree reminds me of the other fig tree which was given a second chance to bear fruit. Do I have the courage to start again when things don’t work out the first time?
"These things" that Jesus predicts are great trouble and strife. He doesn't flinch from that. But, in the same breath he affirms that the "Kingdom of God" is near.
How do I respond to the new developments in my life - in our world, particularly the fearful ones? What does Jesus' affirmation of the nearness of the Kingdom of God say to this?
That is a hard lesson to learn: that when our lives are disturbed and uncertain, the kingdom of God is near. He is present in our sorrowful mysteries as well as our joyful. St John of the Cross used to say: Love is the fruit of faith, that is to say, of darkness. We cling to you, Lord, in our uncertainty.
The words of God, the faithfulness and the promises of God and the love of God will never leave us. Just as fig trees ripen every year and bear fruit, God is true and certain. Prayer based on the words of God gives us a security and a love in life that nothing can move.
In the middle of all sorts of natural and economic and other disasters, the word of God offers truth and a strong place. It is a rock on which we stand, and on which we withstand forces of evil in the culture and in our own lives. There is something about Jesus which never passes away. We find that in prayer.