We get a couple of very apocalyptic readings today. In Revelation 14, we see one “like a son of man” reaping his harvest on the earth. But it’s good news-bad news. The first harvest is good. The second harvest gets thrown into “the great wine press of God’s fury.” Which harvest will you be in? In the Gospel reading from Luke 21, Jesus again predicts the fall of the temple of Jerusalem. The people ask him what it will be like before; what are the signs? And Jesus tells them.
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” Sound familiar? Well, it should! If memory serves me correctly, this has been the human condition from time immemorial. We don’t see anything different here than we could point to today. For that matter, pick any day in history and you will find pretty much the same thing.
People have been predicting the end since the beginning. Always looking for the signs. But, instead of looking for the outward signs, i.e. earthquakes, famines, plagues, etc., perhaps we should be looking at the inward signs. Those signs that will tell us which of the two harvests we read about in today’s first reading that will include us. Signs like envy, jealousy, anger, holding grudges, prejudice, unforgiveness. When we get better at reading the inward signs, we’ll be better prepared for the end.
Father, whenever the end comes, help us to see the important signs; those signs within that will determine which harvest we will be a part of. Help us point those signs to you. Amen.