We seem fascinated with calamities and disasters on a grand scale. We’ve only to look at recent box office successes at the movies. Attracted to these end-of-the-world plots, we are also deeply terrorized, praying these graphic images on the screen will mercifully vanish.
In today’s gospel, Jesus is using language and conveying images that are equally terrifying. The very sun, moon, and stars will fall from the heavens and, as they gaze upward, those watching will see “‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory.”
What are we to make of this message, coming from the One who taught us there is only one commandment and that is to love? Mark’s gospel is addressing two points for his readers. His Christian community in Rome is in mortal danger from the Romans…daily! Even so, they will receive the help they need: the Son of Man is coming to the rescue.
Our lives are often enough in conflict, sometimes even in disaster. Yet we learn that these moments do not bring our ultimate destruction. Almost miraculously, it may seem, we go on. And why? Because, as Mark says, when we are in trouble, Jesus comes. He is already here through his Spirit—Love—to strengthen and console us…daily!
Jesus is always present to us in our eucharistic celebrations, and for this we give thanks!