Jesus said to the crowds, «When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once: ‘A shower 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 superficial people! 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 fit? 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 reminds us the gifts that He has already entrusted to us and warns us the danger of not applying it in our daily life. There is always the danger of human feelings and desires which are not coherent with what we are; the children of God. In our discernment and decision making process, we are requested to act divinely, keeping in mind our weakness and failures, particularly our dependence totally to these human feelings and emotions. The flesh will certainly incite in us emotional desires and the Spirit will guide us to discover the divine will.
According to St. Ignatius of Loyola, these internal fights are basically spiritual, because God is the centre of these process of discernment. He asks us to take a distance from these events, though personal it may appear and see everything in the eyes of God, according to the divine will.
It is here we will learn the importance of being reconciled with God and the necessity of forgiving our brothers and sister. God is asking us to apply our intelligence and wisdom the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to us, in our baptism. The more we apply them, the faster we will be, just before God.
Action of the day: Recall the gifts of the Holy Spirit and thank God for these gifts.
«You don't understand the present times. And why do you not judge for yourselves what is fit?»
Fr. Frederic RÀFOLS i Vidal
Today, Jesus is asking us to look up and watch the skies. This morning, after three days of continuous rain, the sky has appeared clear and radiant, in one of the most splendid days of this Fall. By and by, now that the weathermen are like family members, we become more conversant with weather changes. But, on the other hand, we find many more difficulties to understand the changing times in which we live: «You understand the signs of the earth and the sky, but you don't understand the present times» (Lk 12:56). Amongst those listening to Jesus, many let go a unique chance in the history of Mankind. They could not identify the Son of God in Jesus. They didn't know the time, the hour of salvation.
The II Vatican Council, in the Constitution Gaudium et spes (n. 4), updates today's Gospel: «In every age, the church carries the responsibility of reading the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel (…) We must be aware of and understand the aspirations, the yearnings, and the often dramatic features of the world in which we live».
When we are making history, it is not too difficult to point out at the occasions lost by the Church for not having discovered the time in which we were living. But, Lord: what occasions are we perhaps wasting now for not being able to read the signs of the times, or what is tantamount, for not being able to live and throw light upon today's problems with the light shed by the Gospel? Today, Jesus reminds us once more:«And why do you not judge for yourselves what is fit?» (Lk 12:57).
We are not living in a world of wickedness, though there may be plenty of it. But God has not forsaken his world. As St. John of the Cross reminds us, we live in a world, which the very God treaded on and made beautiful. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta saw the signs of the times, and the times have understood Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Let her invigorate us. Let us keep on looking upwards without losing sight of our earth.