Mark 13:24-37 Jesus said to his disciples, "In those days, after that suffering,the sun will be darkened,and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven,and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see `the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
"But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake-- for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
Reflection To wait and watch and work, that is the way of God’s kingdom, already not yet. The kingdom of God is here, now present in every moment. The thing is it is a radical perspective that turns our ideas about heaven and earth unside down and inside out…. stars falling, heavens shaking.
What we are waiting for is already here but we do not see, so Jesus instructs us, “Keep alert. Keep awake.” But what does that mean? Open the eyes of our hearts, the place from which we “see” with unconditioned consciousness. WIth the eyes of our hearts we “see” the impermanance of all created things (yes, even stars like our sun fall). As Jesus says, “The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light…” THEN we will “see” the Son of Man, God with us. We must see beyond the impermanant things to perceive the unborn, undying eternal Presence of God with us.
For as long as our eyes are afixed to the conditions of life; the turning of seasons, the rise and fall of fortune, the ebb and flow of suffering, our vision is obscured. But, our unconditioned consciousness cuts to the core like a knife piercing flesh or a lightening bolt penetrating the earth. Our unconditioned consciousness is the unborn, undying participation in Divine Presence that resides at the depth of our own being. It is the state of our being within which our waiting and watching and working converge. In us, with us and of us, God’s kingdom is come, already not yet. Keep awake!
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