In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us yet another perspective on the end of the current world and the coming of the new “kingdom.”
The fig tree buds bursting open represent the coming of new life into the world. Similarly, the Word of God brings new life into the hearts of all who receive it. Jesus is the Eternal Word of God. Those who receive Jesus into their hearts and accept His words will help build His Kingdom, trusting in His promise of an eternal future. We are no longer bound by the fear of death. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can conquer sin and live a virtuous life guided by the Divine Word.
Jesus does not deny that the world as we know it will pass away some day. But His eternal Word will never pass away. Rather, through Jesus’ death and resurrection His Word is fulfilled. Everything Jesus promised to the disciples came to pass. As witnesses to His resurrection, the disciples knew that everything Jesus said and taught was Divine Truth. Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, they knew that they had to complete the mission entrusted to them and “Go and make disciples of all nations…”
Over 2,000 years later, we too are witnesses to the Resurrection. We also have the Living Word within us. But has the Living Word penetrated our heart and soul? Our eternal future relies on more than just the new “kingdom” that Jesus has established. We must respond and embrace the “kingdom” Jesus offers us. We must participate in our own salvation. The two Great Commandments must be more than a nice concept. The spiritual and corporal works of mercy must be more than a list of recommendations. If we truly experience and embrace the Living Word, which is Jesus within us, then our lives will be transformed. We will be filled with such joy that, like the first disciples, we will want nothing more than to spread the Good News to others.
This coming Advent, as always, is a season of Hope. We anticipate the coming of Jesus at the end of time. We anticipate the celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus as one of us. But we can turn this season of Hope into joy by allowing Jesus to enter our hearts and souls, giving us new life in Him.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
Do you recognize Jesus’ presence within you, and do you listen to his Word?