Saturday, November 21, 2015

Christian convictions

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
November 15, 2015

Mark 13:24-32

The disciples that had known Jesus are gradually dying. Those who remain believed in him without having seen him. They celebrate his invisible presence in the Eucharists but when would they see his face full of life? When would their wish to meet him forever come true?

They go on remembering Jesus' words with love and faith. They were their food in those difficult times of persecution. But, when would they be able to verify the truth they contained? Wouldn't they be gradually forgotten? The years were passing and the much expected "Last Day" didn't come. What could they think?

The apocalyptic discourse we find in Mark seeks to offer some convictions that are to nourish their hope. We are not to understand them in a literal sense but try to discover the faith contained in these images and symbols that are so strange to us today.

First conviction: The fascinating history of Humanity will someday reach its end. The "sun" that signals the succession of the years will go dark. The "moon" that marks the rhythm of the months will no longer shine. There will be no days or nights; there will be no time. Moreover, "the stars will be falling from the sky", the distance between heaven and earth will be erased, there will no longer be space. This life isn't forever. Someday, definitive Life will come, without space or time. We will live in the Mystery of God.

Second conviction: Jesus will return and his followers will finally be able to see his face as they wish -- "they will see the Son of Man coming." The sun, the moon and the stars will go dark, but the world won't remain without light. Jesus will illuminate it forever, putting truth, justice and peace in human history so enslaved by abuse, injustice, and lies today.

Third conviction: Jesus will bring with him God's salvation. He is coming with the great saving power of the Father. He isn't appearing in a menacing way. The gospel writer avoids talking about judgement and condemnation here. Jesus is coming to "gather his elect," those who await his salvation with faith.

Fourth conviction: Jesus' words "will not pass away." They will not lose their saving power. They are to continue feeding the hope of his followers and the spirits of the poor. We aren't going towards nothingness and the void. God's embrace awaits us.

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