Thursday, November 15, 2012

No one knows the day

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
November 12, 2012

Mark 13: 24-32

Better knowledge of apocalyptic language, which is constructed of symbolic images and resources to speak about the end of the world, allows us today to hear the hopeful message of Jesus, without falling into the temptation to sow anguish and terror in minds.

Someday the fascinating story of human beings on earth will come to an end. This was Jesus' firm belief. This is also the forecast of current science. The world isn't eternal. This life will end. What will become of our struggles and work, our efforts and aspirations?

Jesus speaks soberly. He doesn't want to feed any morbid curiosity. He nips in the bud any attempt to speculate about calculations, dates, or deadlines. "No one knows the day or the hour..., only the Father." Nothing of psychosis in face of the end. The world is in good hands. We are not journeying towards chaos. We can trust in God, our Creator and Father.

From this total trust, Jesus explains his hope: the current creation will end, but it will be to make way for a new creation which will have the risen Christ as its center. Is it possible to believe something so grand? Can we talk like this before anything has happened?

Jesus uses images that everyone can understand. One day, the sun and moon that light up the earth today and make life possible, will die out. The world will be dark. Will the history of mankind also die out? Will our hopes end thus?

According to Mark's version, in the middle of that night one will be able to see the "Son of Man", that is, the risen Christ who will come "with great power and glory." His saving light will illuminate everything. He will be the center of a new world, the beginning of a humanity renewed forever.

Jesus knows it isn't easy to believe his words. How can he prove that things will happen that way? With surprising simplicity, he invites us to live this life like springtime. Everyone knows that experience: life that seemed dead during the winter begins to stir; on the branches of the fig tree small leaves sprout again. Everyone knows that summer is near.

This life we now know is like the spring. It's not yet possible to reap. We can't get final achievements. But there are small signs that life is gestating. Our efforts for a better world will not be lost. No one knows the day, but Jesus will come. With his coming, the ultimate mystery of reality that believers call God will be revealed.

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