Didn’t 2020 feel a bit like the apocalypse? The end of days described in today’s Gospel seems to represent that dumpster fire of a year. The tribulations of pandemic, racial injustice, sexism, political unrest, poverty, and violence fed our sense of doom. By the end of that year, we were tired of being vigilant and exhausted by the unknown.
In these last weeks of the liturgical year, we enter into chapter 13 of Mark’s Gospel, sometimes called the “little apocalypse.” We started this liturgical year, during the worst days yet of the pandemic, with the concluding verses of the same chapter, which urged us to be watchful.Where do we see God? And throughout, Jesus directs his disciples’ gaze: Look to the peripheries, the invisible ones, the powerless, the child, the widow, the cross. There you will see God’s glory. Click To Tweet
From beginning to end, Mark asks: Where do we see God? And throughout, Jesus directs his disciples’ gaze: Look to the peripheries, the invisible ones, the powerless, the child, the widow, the cross. There you will see God’s glory. Today, Jesus exhorts his followers to be vigilant, to watch for the signs of God.
The thing about biblical apocalypses is that they always point to God’s nearness and fidelity. Even when we lapse in our vigilance, fail to see God’s presence in the chaos, or fall asleep when we should have stayed “woke,” the good news of the Gospel is this: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” God is faithful. You will see.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by bill wegener on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Gifts from God
- Why is a king from heaven different?
- Where will you see God’s glory?
- In line with Christ
- Imperfect lives