Based on the Gospel of Mark 13:24-32
Falling leaves. Wilted flowers. Cooler temperatures. Shorter days. These are all signs that winter is coming. All of nature begins to look asleep, lifeless and dreary.

However, spring will come again. New leaves will sprout on trees. Flowers will bloom. Warm temperatures will return. Daylight savings time will start again. All of nature will awaken to new life and color.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus talks about signs to look for when he is ready to come back to earth at the end of time. Signs such as the sun growing dark and filling the world with darkness, the moon losing its brightness, the stars falling from the sky, and the heavens or sky shaking, perhaps by thunder or lightning. It all sounds very scary.

Jesus brought his light into the world. As believers, we know the darkness won’t last. At the end of time, Jesus will come in full glory as he promised, and the world will be bright with his love.

Jesus tells us that no matter what happens, he will be with us. Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” He says God’s love for us will last forever.

The Bible is filled with numerous examples of God’s love and care for his people over thousands of years. God loves and cares for us, too.

The name “Jesus” means “God saves.” Jesus’ death on the cross and his Resurrection from the dead won salvation for us. Jesus promised to bring us into heaven with him at the end of time if we try our best to live as he taught us. Jesus says that no one knows the exact day or hour – “only the Father.” This is not to scare us but to invite us to greater closeness with God. If the Father is the only one who knows when the end of the world is coming, then we should stay as close to the Father as we can, living as children of God.  That is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father.” Made strong with prayer as we strive each day to love God and neighbor, we don’t need to be scared about the end of time.

The beauty of nature in the changing seasons. The gift of life. Parents and family. Each newborn baby. Teachers. Friends. Smiles. Our country. The church. Priests. The Eucharist. These are all signs of God’s continuing love and care.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the light of your Son, Jesus.