Today’s readings from Mass are leading us to contemplate what the end will look like. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus spells out what it will look like. He says, “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” (Mark 13:26-27)
He goes on to say, “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates.” (Mark 13:28-29)
I read an interpretation this morning that said that Mark’s gospel was just relating the fact that most people of his time were expecting Jesus to return soon, so this is just his way of expressing that. Since the person given the interpretation was a Catholic priest, I will accept that this a possible interpretation. However, I will offer an alternative translation to this reading to say that we are possibly missing the signs that God is giving us through the events of the past few years and his return is now near. I do not have the time this morning to reveal all of these signs, but I can tell you that they have been revealed to me through both secular and religious channels.
The question is, “What do we do now?” The answer is, “We repent and continue to preach the good news to all who will listen.” The time is short now, and the final coming of Jesus is imminent. If we repent and believe in the gospel, we see it as an imminent joy that is coming, but if not we see it as imminent doom. Now it is just a matter of choice, as to which perception of his coming is true.