October 23, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“Seeing the signs of the times, recognizing God’s power and marching joyfully in Him!”

(Based on Eph 4:1-6 and Lk 12:54-59 – Friday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Our world is seeing immense technological advances.

Such developments have greatly helped humanity…
… to avoid many possible natural disasters
… to be forewarned against future calamities
… to minimize the damages caused by nature’s fury

Such amazing technological advances by human beings is an example of how we are learning to explore the deeper aspects of the mysteries in nature and the universe.

Human beings are truly marching miles in reading the signs in nature and the universe.

In the midst of all these great achievements, we are posed with some probing questions…
…are we falling short in reading the signs with respect to humanity’s moral degradation?
…are we failing to read the signs of the times with respect to humanity’s spiritual decline?
…are we missing out reading the signs regarding the reign of God in our lives?

The Gospel of the Day is a reminder and a wake-up call, by Jesus to this dimension of our lives. Jesus says: “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Lk 12:56)

From ages past, human beings have been gaining expertise on interpreting the signs and indications given in nature…

Spotting of some dark clouds, to predict heavy rains…
A red sky at dusk, indicating a clearer sky the following day…
Strange movements of animals and birds, to predict earthquakes or other calamities…

Jesus uses this example in nature to expose the hollowness and duplicity of the people of His time.

Jesus came in the world to usher in the Kingdom of God.

He came to announce to the world that God is not some distant entity but rather is very seriously interested to be close to their lives.

To this end of announcing the Kingdom of God… Jesus performed a number of signs…

He taught the Scriptures and the Laws with a greater freshness and stronger authority.
He healed the blind, the deaf and the dumb to make them witness His power.
He raised up the dead and powerfully demonstrated the saving power of God.
He restored the crippled and cast out demons to show them God’s might.
He forgave sinners and accepted the outcast to display God’s deep mercy and compassion.
He searched for the lost and invited the oppressed to experience the depth of God’s love.
He performed many miracles in nature to show God’s supremacy over the whole creation.

But many of the people failed to see beyond these signs…

All these miracles & manifestations of the Lord were very often looked upon with much suspicion & sometimes, even contempt!

Jesus pities such an attitude!

The people could interpret so easily the signs in nature…
… but they failed to interpret the signs of the Kingdom of God!

They failed to understand the call of God, in the wonders done by Him.

The people could easily predict certain things by seeing the climate…
… but they refused to hear God’s inviting voice, in the marvels performed by Him.

The remained stubborn to the invitation of the Lord towards change of sinful attitudes

The people could easily tell certain events of the future by observing their surroundings…
… but they adamantly declined to turn to Him in repentance, by seeing His deeds.

They purposely chose to be stuck to their “tunneled” minds and failing to accept God’s mercy

This is a danger that any one of us could also have in our own personal lives…

God sustains our daily life with much care…but we fail to give praise for His wonders.

We take for granted all these daily blessings.

God protects us from various calamities…but we fail to admit His providence.

We take for granted His shielding hand.

God infuses our lives with many inspirations…but we fail to give heed to His voice.

We take for granted all His tender invitations.

Personal sins are God’s ways of calling us to experience His Mercy and Justice.

Delays in prayers are God’s ways of asking us to Trust in Him more deeply.
Accidents and calamities are God’s ways of calling us to trust in His Providence.
Unexpected failures and pains are God’s ways of making us to Share in His Sufferings.
Happy and a satisfied life is God’s ways of inviting us to Thank and Praise Him more.
Failure to overcome our bad tendencies is God’s ways of calling to us to a Life of Humility
Despair in life and hopelessness is God’s way of appealing us to grow much more in Faith.

Signs from God, may sometimes be liked…sometimes be disliked.

St Augustine said, ‘If you believe what you like in the Gospels but reject what you don’t like, it’s not the Gospel you believe, but yourself’

In trust and faith, let us walk with the Lord, knowing that all things “work for good, for those who love Him” (Rom 8:28)

Let St Paul’s exhortation to the Church at Ephesus be a message for us too:
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!” (Eph 4:1-3)

Human beings have come a long way in technological advancements & seeking to conquer the outer space & powers of nature…

But we still have a long way to understand the mighty works being performed by God in our personal & communitarian lives.

Let us see the signs… Let us recognize God’s power… Let us march joyfully in Him!

May the words of the Saint of the Day – St John of Capistrano, who is called as the “Soldier Saint” – the patron of lawyers and judges, inspire us:
“Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life.

They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice.
The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the Light of the world that brings light to others!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “God allows great trials and temptations
only to those…
… whom God wishes to raise to pure and excellent love!”

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