The gospel texts are rich – rich in many ways – and the teaching they give us is precious.
Precious but not always easy to understand…
The words of this Sunday’s gospel (33rd Sunday of Year B – Mk.13:24-32) can be frightening.
“The sun darkened, the moon losing its brightness, the stars falling…”
We may be tempted to let such words pass by and not give them too much attention.
We may be thinking that, after all, this is a way of speaking that was used in the past
and is not appropriate for our time.
It is true that this kind of imagery was used in the Jewish literature of long ago.
Still, today’s gospel has a valuable message for us.
I found it in one short sentence:
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree…”
Strange… we are not told to learn first from the stars or planets behaving in an unusual way,
but from… a fig tree (common in Jesus’ country – we could speak here of an apple tree).
We are to observe and be taught by ordinary things –
the common and the usual can have a message for us, a message for our day-to-day living.
This was Jesus’ method when he taught. He was saying:
“Look at the flowers of the field, look at the birds of the air…” (Mt.6:26-30),
He spoke of a hen with her chicks (Mt.23:37),
of sheep (Lk.15:3-7),
of a lost coin (Lk.15:8-10),
of a mustard seed (Mk.4:30-32),
of yeast in the dough (Mt.13:33) –
of so many things familiar, yes, but rich with meaning.
Perhaps, what we are to do is simply… look and see, and…
find the meaning hidden there for us!
Note: another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/33e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/