Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer is already near

And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:29-36

Yesterday, I went out in the garden and harvested peas for the first time. My Mom and I sat on our back porch in the late afternoon, opening the pea pods, laughing and talking about the uniqueness of each and how like a group of siblings they were. Each pea so similar and yet individual and different from the others. A few days ago these peas that we picked were only flowers with a few pods. Now they were full grown and ready for harvest. We had a magnificent salad with our dinner and enjoyed the bounty of God's creation as we sat on the porch, having our dinner, laughing and sharing some more. It was a cool evening and full blown summer is at hand.

Jesus is sharing with his disciples and using images that help them understand the challenges of faithful living. We are asked to be alert and awake and to understand the signs of the season. We have to go out in the garden every day, checking the plants, watching them grow, watering, weeding and nurturing as we go. You cannot plant and then walk away. We have to be watchful and alert. Likewise, our journey of faith is one of watering, weeding, nurturing, watching and trusting God for the strength to endure the hard times.

Today, I ask God to give me the strength to be every watchful. May I be a nurturer for the tenderest of the faithful, awake to the changes that will come, and prayerful at all times. May we all be tender gardeners of our faith and of the faith of our communities, so that when hard times befall us, and they do and will, we may know God's tender touch in the roughest of storms.

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