27 October
Lk 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, 'It is going to rain'; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, 'There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case, or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny."

When they say on television, “Let’s take a look at the weather,” they show you graphics with lines and squiggles: symbols of what is coming.  But in the past when you asked an old man about tomorrow’s weather he would look at the sky: he would look at the real weather – the clouds, the direction of the wind shown by the movement of the trees, etc.  A cloud is not a symbol of the weather, it is the weather, it is the rain that is coming.  It hasn’t fallen yet, but you can see it if you pay attention.  The signs of the times are not complex interpretations and symbolic systems; they are the earliest appearances of events.  Look carefully and you will see everything – even before it happens.  It is not divination, it is seeing.  It is not even peering into the future; it is peering into the present.  A man up a tree sees further than a man sitting on the ground.  He sees a lion coming, when the other doesn’t.  To the man on the ground the lion is in the future, but to the man in the tree it is the present.  

I have an unpleasant memory that I find hard to banish: a pious bigot, eyes closed in a caricature of depth, head piously inclined to the side, dismissing all views but her own, and accusing everyone of heresy and (with particular spite, “New Age thinking”).  In contrast to this, Jesus repeatedly told people to keep awake, to open their eyes, to look at what was happening around them.  “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” he said.  If you do it with your eyes closed you are not looking at the present but at the past. 

 

 

 
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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 

 

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