In today’s Gospel reading, after Jesus points out to the people how well they can see things and know what kind of weather they’re going to have, He says, “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time? He’s pointing out to them that they are witnesses to all kinds of signs that the Messiah has come, but they fail to recognize Him and who He is for them.
After reading this, I found myself wondering how we are interpreting our present time. For me, the pandemic has given us evidence of how much we are connected. What we do actually does affect another person. But it appears that we have let the political divisions in the U.S. influence how we treat each other and the pandemic itself during this time.
It just seems to me that this moment is calling us to come together, not split apart. What we hear from St. Paul in our first reading from Ephesians makes the most sense to me about how we are to be in what is a difficult time for so many: “I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love…”
If we can interpret the signs that Jesus gives us of His love for us, the Cross and the empty tomb, can we discern His call for us to care for each other?
Loving God, give us the grace to interpret the signs You send us. Amen.
Fr. Phil Paxton, C.P., is the local superior of the Passionist Community in Birmingham, Alabama.