33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (15 November)

In this week’s passage from Mark’s Gospel chapter 13, Jesus uses the image of a fig-tree. He draws 33 sunday in ordinary timeattention to the fact that as soon as its twigs get tender and leaves come out, it is known that summer is here. Here in Ireland the leaves have fallen from the trees and while it is mild for this time of year the trees remind us that it is Autumn/ Winter, the days have shortened and we prepare for a new season.

It seems that Jesus’ teaching highlights the fact that we have the ability to see certain signs but then what of the other signs that we may not take in that we should notice and prepare for.

“Even so when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door”. (verse 29)

I have sometimes heard in a conversation someone say, “I should have seen it coming, when I think back there were signs, why didn’t I act then?” There is a need in all of us to reflect on all around us, on God’s message to us now, on our call to respond to the signs of the times.

Where is God’s voice calling us to be the voice that heals?

–          it is in the plight of the millions of refugees fleeing from persecution?

–          it is in the injustice that we as humans are doing to the universe?

–          it is in our educating ourselves at election times?

–          it is in our dialogue with other faiths?

–          it is in the suffering of elderly and frail who are not receiving proper medical attention?

–          it is in the evilness of the exploitation of women in the sex trade industry?


Lord that we may see the signs of our world today that need to be healed. How can each of us respond, however small we think the response may be, to the signs of our times in our land, in our communities, in our lives?

Sr Edel Murphy O.P

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