We observe the advent of Jesus while our readings build anticipation for his return. We will know when it is going to happen because of the signs. Yet, while a tender branch with green buds is a sure sign that summer is coming, how do we predict the return of Christ? The gospel says a darkened sun, a lightless moon and falling stars will show that the Son of Man is coming.
Some Christians prognosticate about end times. The more I dwell in the word of God, the less I trust these rapture-happy predictions. Details of an apocalypse are highly speculative, based on carefully chosen verses. It seems like a distraction from the real challenge of our faith. Didn’t Jesus say, “You do not know when the time will come?”
The foreboding description of Christ’s return in glory sets up one simple message: Keep awake. This is not literal. We need to remain alert to the needs of our world and stand for justice, show compassion toward the suffering poor, practice hospitality to the stranger, and love God and neighbour. When the Master returns, may we be found doing these things.
Waiting for the Master's coming, seeking signs that you are near, Help us grow in acts of loving for our neighbour who is here. Amen. — DH