And Jesus added this comparison, “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. As soon as their buds sprout, you know that summer is already near. In the same way, as soon as you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all this has happened: heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
In a familiar homily, Pope Francis pointed to the “signs of the times” with gifted expressions: “The Lord wants us to understand what is happening in my heart, what is happening in my life, what is happening in the world, in history. These are the ‘signs of the times’, and he puts this attitude in contrast with the spirit of the world. “The spirit of the world does not want us to ask ourselves before God: ‘But why this, why that, why does it happen?’”
That can be an excellent application of the Gospel of today, in which the Lord reminds us that the buds sprouting from the fig tree are a sign of the summer. The moral lesson then is an admonition for the last events: the destruction of Jerusalem and the final coming of the Kingdom of God.
Yes, following the pope we must be attentive to all kinds of signs God sends us, both internal and external; and following Jesus we must be especially careful with the preparation of the end of the History. In fact, like the words of Jesus which were accomplished in the destruction of Jerusalem, these words will be fulfilled at his second coming. With the pope let us ask “for the grace to read the signs of the times.”
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