Meaning of Signs

Luke 12:54-59
Rom 7:18-25a/ Psa 119

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 discern God’s will in our life.

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.”


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 signs meant to prove His divinity and lead sinners to believe and be converted.

Our eldest son told us the sad news that one of his childhood friends succumbed to a severe attack of asthma, leaving a young wife and baby daughter. His untimely death was the fourth among 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 are taken by sudden deaths like asthma, stroke, or heart attack. They are given more time “to settle the case on the way” to the Judge and the Jailer. But no matter the disease, why do most people have to wait until the final hour before they begin to prepare for the ultimate journey?

Father in heaven, grant us the grace to discern the more important things in life that we should be more 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 there are signs that we fail to understand, and by committing ourselves totally to whatever service is entrusted to us in our community. All these we pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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