Little by little the disciples who had known Jesus were dying off. Those who were left believed in him without having seen him. They celebrated his invisible presence in the Eucharist. But when would they see his face fully alive? When would their desire to meet and be him forever be fulfilled?
They kept remembering Jesus’ words lovingly and faithfully. These words nourished them in those difficult times of persecution. But when could they verify the truth these words contained? Would they not keep forgetting little by little? The years were passing by and the awaited “Final Day” was not arriving. What could they thinking?
The apocalyptic discourse that we find in Mark wants to offer some convictions that should nourish their hope. We must not understand them literally, but try to discover the faith contained in those images and symbols that today we find so strange.
First conviction: Humanity’s exciting history will one day come to an end
The “sun,” which indicates the succession of years, will go out. The “moon” that marks the rhythm of the months will no longer shine. There will not be days and nights any more, no more time. Moreover, “the stars will be falling from the sky,” the distance between heaven and earth will be wiped out, there will be no more space. This life is not forever. The definitive Life, spaceless and timeless, will arrive one day. We will live in God’s Mystery.
Second conviction: Jesus will return and his followers will finally be able to see the face they long for; “they will see the Son of Man”
The sun, the moon and the stars will go out, but the world will not be left without light. Jesus will be its light forever, bringing in truth, justice and peace to our human history so enslaved by abuses, injustices and lies.
Third conviction. Jesus will bring with him God’s salvation
He comes with the great and saving power of the Father. His appearance is not threatening. The evangelist avoids speaking here of judgments and condemnations. Jesus comes to “gather his elect,” those who wait with faith for their salvation.
Fourth conviction. Jesus’ words “will not pass away
They are not going to lose his saving strength. They must keep nurturing the hope of his followers and the spirit of the poor. We are not walking toward nothingness and emptiness. God’s embrace awaits us.
November 15, 2015
33 Ordinary Time (B)
Mark 13, 24-32