USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.”
Good News Reflection:
This is my last reflection for Liturgical Year One. With the start of Advent on Sunday, we enter into a new liturgical year. Happy New Year already!
Today’s Gospel reading is a fitting way to end the old and start the new. Jesus is speaking about the growth and blossoming of the kingdom of God. Everything on Earth will eventually pass away — it’s all temporary — but whatever grows in the kingdom of God is permanent.
What is passing away in your life? In this are the seeds of a new life, a new healing, or a new maturity for your walk through the garden of God’s kingdom on the road that leads to heaven.
What seeds have already sprouted from past changes in your life? Take a prayerful moment to notice how you’ve grown. Appreciate what has happened. Identify the buds that are ready to burst forth. How will they glorify God?
What fruits have you been producing for the kingdom of God? What buds have turned to flowers that have become blessings for others? These flowers indicate how beautiful you are to God (yes! you are beautiful!), and, like the flowers of a fruit tree, they will be transformed by the creative power of God into something even more beautiful: good and tasty fruits that will nourish others with a pleasant flavor and healthy spiritual vitamins.
What are the fruits already being produced by your life in Christ? Think of anything you do that benefits someone else. This is how God interacts with your world and changes it for the better. This is how Jesus redeems and sanctifies where you live, work, and play. It all starts with a seed that sprouts from a change in your life.
Today presents an ideal opportunity to reflect on your growth, because it will make your Season of Advent, which are days of preparation, more meaningful. By nurturing the soil of your growth and pulling out the weeds, you will enhance your Season of Christmas, which will be days of experiencing Christ being born where he’s been missing from your life. This two-part combination of liturgical seasons will produce more of God’s permanent kingdom within you.
Change is usually painful. It’s the dying of something old. It’s the cracking of a seed hull. Transitions seem scary, because we don’t know what’s going to happen next. But through it all, Christ is steady, God is faithful, his word remains solid and certain. The more we pay conscious attention to God’s kingdom, the easier it becomes to look beyond what’s passing away.
Look past what’s transitional, and keep your eyes on Jesus and his permanent love for you. Confusion comes from uncertainty, which comes from not knowing what to expect next because the scenery looks different today. The path through this ever-changing garden of growth is found by quietly centering ourselves on the irrevocable word of God and on the unfailing presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Change should not be feared. It means that the kingdom of God is near in a new way!
I thank You, Lord, because You talk to my heart and You reveal Your word to me. Give me the grace of persevering in my faith and in my charity to others till Your triumphal coming. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica