Seeing the Signs of the Times

Luke 12:54-59
Eph 4:1-6/ Ps 24: 1- 6

You understand the signs of the earth and the sky, but you don’t understand the present times.
(Luke 12:56)

If we read the Bible all our days
We will learn to judge what is right
It will lead us in subtle ways
To follow God’s Word as our light.

Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once: ‘Rain is coming,’ and so it happens. And when the wind blows from the south, you say: ‘It will be hot,’ and so it is. You hypocrites! You understand the signs of the earth and the sky, but you don’t understand the present times. And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? When you go with your accuser before the court, try to settle the case on the way, lest he drag you before the judge and the judge deliver you to the jailer, and the jailer throw you in prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the very last penny.” (Luke 12:54-59)

Reflection

Jesus is telling us in today’s Gospel that when we see the obvious signs happening around us, then it should be time to act accordingly, to discern ‘what is right.’ What He was saying to the Jews then was for them to repent and change their ways, in the light of the many wondrous signs that He had been performing in their sight. The miracles that He performed were not the main purpose of His mission, but were merely signs meant to prove His divinity and lead sinners to their conversion.

Early one morning, one of the sisters in our community finally succumbed to the inevitable, after her long battle with the big “C”. She was the fourth victim claimed by this modern-day scourge among our friends and acquaintances within a period of one month. As we reflect on today’s Gospel passage, what does this “sign” tell us of “the present times”? It is simply this: that our life here on earth is so fleeting that we do not have the luxury of taking our sweet time to put our life in order, and settle our ‘debts’ with God and neighbor. They say that those who are stricken with cancer are more fortunate than those who die from stroke, heart attack or accidents. They are given more time “to settle the case on the way” to the Judge and the Jailer. But why do we have to wait until the final hour before we correct our mistakes and prepare for the ultimate journey?

Every day that passes is an opportunity given by God for us to reform our lives and change for the better. Many dying men came to regret neglecting their relationships with God (who had been so good to them), and other people (especially their loved ones) at the last hours of their lives. They failed to realize that it was caring for their own bodies that should have been their primary concern in the first place. For instance, how could a promising cardiologist have died of a heart seizure without seeing any danger signs? Or why do so many people take their time to quit smoking when they know very well that time is not on their side, that the horror of emphysema may already have set in before they are aware of its symptoms? Jesus is asking us: “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

Father in heaven, grant us the grace to discern the more important things in life that we should be concerned about, like purifying our hearts and minds by receiving You more often in the Holy Eucharist of the mass, by seeking guidance in Your Holy Scriptures whenever confronted by signs that we fail to understand, and by committing ourselves to whatever ministry is entrusted to us in our community. All these we pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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