“Why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Luke 12:56).
The change of seasons reminds us of patterns in nature that guide the natural world through necessary cycles of rest and regeneration. As day follows night, autumn follows summer; the sun moves to the southern sky as the earth tilts; temperatures drop, trees shed their leaves and fields lie fallow; the skies offer portents of winter’s arrival; we prepare by bringing out warmer clothing, adjusting our activities and expectations for shorter days and icy conditions.
Jesus sounds like a meteorologist in today’s Gospel, chiding his hearers for not applying the lessons of nature to their spiritual understanding. They look at the sky and know that rain is on the horizon, or that a warm wind will bring a hot day. But they seem unable or unwilling to read the signs of the times. God’s invitation is in the air. Repent and hear good news. The gates of heaven stand open, even for sinners, so enter while there is still time. Now is the day of salvation. Don’t you see it? Reconcile with your enemies while you can, lest the divisions deepen and resentment takes hold. The Day of the Lord is upon us.
Urban life, busy schedules and countless distractions cut many of us off from the most obvious source of wisdom and balance all around us. The weather, the sky, the seasons are constantly teaching us about the laws of life. We reap what we sow. What goes around comes around. By their fruits you will know them. Only the seed that surrenders to the ground multiplies. The Gospel is written in nature and in the patterns of life, death and resurrection all around us. Pay attention and be blessed.