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NOVEMBER 26 Ord Time B. Wk 34. Fri. Lk 21. 29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable: ‘Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree. As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near. So, with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’


It should be noted this advice from Jesus to his disciples is being given only a few days before the Passover. In a day or two Judas will betray Jesus “for thirty pieces of silver” and he will begin his journey to Calvary. Over recent days the Gospels have focused on our being ready for the end of earthly life, and this vein continues today.


Just as with a fig tree the emerging buds indicate summer is approaching; when the things Jesus has been mentioning are seen to happen, they are signs of an approaching spiritual summer; - that “the Kingdom of God is near!”


Jesus has said the Kingdom is present whenever the values of the Gospel are being lived, but it will not be fully realised until the very end when all are gathered together in union with him.

This generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place!”


When Jesus says ‘this present generation’ will not have passed away until all this takes place, it is not to say his final coming will happen in the lifetime of his hearers, as some imagined, but rather, with his own suffering and death, the new and eternal dispensation which he inaugurates with the Kingdom will be underway.

Ironically, the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophesy is inaugurated by the destruction of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. This inaugurates a new presence of God in the world, a presence “in spirit and in truth”.


However, Jesus words could also mean that the Jewish people as a race; - here referred to as “this generation”; - will continue to exist until the end of time, to the final coming of Jesus.


The world in which we live will one day disappear, but the words of Jesus, words of Truth and Life will never pass away, because they represent a vision of life and those timeless values which we understand as emanating from God and to which every human being is innately called.


As we come to the end of the Church year it is a time to make our decision whether we want to belong to the Kingdom Jesus is now inaugurating; - and not only belong but also make its spread our life’s work. Then, no matter when he comes to call us, we will be ready…


This is the point of today’s parable; - the bearing of fruit! The purpose of the Fig tree is to bear fruit; - the purpose of the Christian vocation is to bear fruit; - and as Christians this is a duty imposed on us by our baptism.


And we have to accept what has been revealed by the teachings of Christ and by his Passion, Death and Resurrection; - namely that as Christians we have to join with him in enduring suffering and sacrifice; - in reparation for our own sins; - and the sins of the world!!


Gospel Acclamation Lk21:28


Alleluia, alleluia!

Lift up your heads and see:

your redemption is near at hand.

Alleluia!


First reading Daniel 7:2-14

'I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man'


I, Daniel, have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea; four great beasts emerged from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion with eagle’s wings; and as I looked its wings were torn off, and it was lifted from the ground and set standing on its feet like a man; and it was given a human heart. The second beast I saw was different, like a bear, raised up on one of its sides, with three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. “Up!” came the command “Eat quantities of flesh!” After this I looked, and saw another beast, like a leopard, and with four bird’s wings on its flanks; it had four heads, and power was given to it. Next I saw another vision in the visions of the night: I saw a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate, crushed and trampled underfoot what remained. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns.


While I was looking at these horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts. As I watched:


Thrones were set in place

and one of great age took his seat.

His robe was white as snow,

the hair of his head as pure as wool.

His throne was a blaze of flames,

its wheels were a burning fire.

A stream of fire poured out,

issuing from his presence.

A thousand thousand waited on him,

ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

A court was held

and the books were opened.


The great things the horn was saying were still ringing in my ears, and as I watched, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and committed to the flames. The other beasts were deprived of their power, but received a lease of life for a season and a time.


I gazed into the visions of the night.

And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,

one like a son of man.

He came to the one of great age

and was led into his presence.

On him was conferred sovereignty,

glory and kingship,

and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty

which shall never pass away,

nor will his empire ever be destroyed.







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