“You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” These words from Luke’s gospel today have left me befuddled for weeks!
Jesus is making a strong point here. He seems to be trying to get the crowds to realize that something is happening NOW and they just don’t seem to get it. I truly wonder how Jesus would deal with us in our times if He was trying to tell us the Kingdom of God is at hand. Could He get us to put down our electronic devices long enough to even recognize His presence much less the significance of His words and deeds? Could He interrupt the constant repetition of “Breaking News”? And could He even hope to distract us from the morning tweets?
Miracles abound in Luke’s gospel. Yet even miracles are not enough to get the crowds to realize the importance of Jesus’ call to reform our hearts. If we observe the signs of the times today, we are left gasping for mercy in a world of violence, bigotry, hate, greed, cruelty and self-centeredness. Earlier in this chapter from Luke, Jesus says “Do not live in fear, little flock. It has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.” Why can’t we hear and respond to this gentle invitation amid the deeply troubling signs of our times?
Maybe today is a good day to think about the gift of the Kingdom of God. Maybe today is a good day to reflect on the following words from Jesus in this chapter from Luke.
“Stop worrying. The unbelievers of this world are always running after these (material) things. Your Father knows that you need such things. Seek out instead his kingship over you, and the rest will follow in turn.”
I invite you to pray with me.
Lord, the signs of our times are scary indeed. Help me to not live in fear but to turn my heart toward you in every present moment and simply accept your Kingdom with open arms.
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of our Passionist Family in Louisville, Kentucky.