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What a strange raving! 

(Mk 13, 24-32)

"Know that he is near, he is at the gates" (Mc 13,29). This is the "hinge" phrase of this Sunday's gospel. That is to say, it is a phrase that is uniting two dis-harmonious realities that in a certain sense are frightening: the tribulations suffered by the elect because of the gospel (13,9) and the cosmic tribulations (13, 24-25).

Faced with a text of this nature, it is easy for the most fatalists to see the end of the world as near when they see these dis-harmonious realities, and it is logical that we are afraid or almost panicked, since Jesus gives in this chapter some forceful affirmations but that indicate the way forward. On the one hand he says: "When you see all these calamities, do not be alarmed because it is not yet the end" (13,7); then he says "Heaven and earth will pass away" (Mc 13,31), it is true, this world will pass away, it will end, the heavens and the earth will pass away, and in this sense we can interpret that they will have an end, and with respect to this end the The master clearly says that no one, absolutely no one, neither the angels, nor the heavens, nor himself, the Christ, can say when the end will be, because that end of the cosmos when heaven and earth will pass away, only the Father knows (Mk 13 ,32).

These affirmations of Jesus give us the certainty of the end of time, but what does this end of which Mark speaks in v. 7 of chap. 13? Before answering this question we can think about what 'an end' means. Surely when we think of an "end" we are usually scared, sometimes even panicked, whatever that end is, it could be the end of a relationship, a study period, the end of a trip, the end of life of a person, of a decision finally made etc., let's think of a situation in which we have experienced some end whatever it may be. Somehow an end causes us a crisis, a crisis of or due to abandonment, farewell, the disappearance of something or non-possession, etc., a crisis of sadness, satisfaction, depression, self-esteem can come upon us. .. etc. 

The end has a large number of meanings. Sometimes we resist living it, we often do not want an end and this is due, among many things, to the fact that in baptism we receive a divine seed that drives us to seek eternity, to aspire to that "that never happens" hence the last word of Jesus: "my words will not pass away... heaven and earth will pass away" (13, 31).

Sometimes we even avoid thinking about it or remembering it and even less want to reflect on it, but thinking and reflecting on it can give us wisdom, especially if we enliven our faith.

We Mexicans, for example, are very familiar with the subject of the end of life. Our Mayan ancestors saw life in complete dynamism, birth and death, everything is part of the same reality, death is death and it is the end of physical life but at the same time it is the beginning of a new life that it is another reality, that of the world of the dead because life does not have an end, rather another dimension begins. This perception of life came to be complemented and enriched by Christianity because the Lord with his words has thoroughly illuminated the mystery of life and death, death the end of physical life, in fact he does not have the last word because For those who believe, who decide to believe in his words that will not pass away, this life, even if it goes through death, will be given to us for an eternity.

This is an example of that end, but as we said before, I'm sure we have a lot of "end" experiences that question and shake us. Jesus in the Gospel of Mark 13 this Sunday uses some words that are strong, for example thlipsin (θλῖψιν) which in Greek indicates suffering, and says in v. 24 that after all these sufferings, referring to the different persecutions suffered by the disciples because of the name of Jesus, many other dramatic events will also happen, it is about four events:

the sun will be darkened... (akotisthésetaiσκοτισθήσεται from the Greek verb skotizoσκοτίζω, that is, darken); the moon will no longer give its light, (in Greek fengos φέγγος that is, light); the stars will fall (pipontesπίπτοντες from the verb piptoπίπτω, that is to say, to fall) and the powers of heaven will shake according to the natural movements resulting from an earthquake (saleuthesontai σαλευθήσονται, from the verbσαλεύω saleuo that is, shake and tremble). Yes, these are signs that indicate that the powers that are in heaven are broken and appear as a sign of the transformation of the cosmos that indicates the coming of the Son of Man, yes, they will be signs of the beginning of the final judgment, but before the gospel It must be announced to all nations as Mc 13,10 says.

But the gospel is not that it wants to scare us, terrify us or turn us into people who live in fear in the world and with the terror of the end of the world. No! Through the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is preparing us for these three weeks of November and through the Church, with the season of Advent, he is constantly educating and re-educating us so that we focus on the essentials of life: on the one hand, that through from the simple parable of the fig tree "when its branches are tender and its leaves sprout, they know that summer is near" (Mc 13,28) we can learn to know in the signs of revival of life; but above all, let us learn to see the Son of Man there who is at the gates whenever he never leaves, who is by our side in any circumstance, that we learn to see that Christ who is saving us, that is, that we can read more beyond what our senses can perceive with the naked eye, that is, in ugliness, in wickedness, in the misfortune of adversities or calamities, that we learn to live faith, which allows us to see everything with a new light : "So you too, when you see these things happen, know that he is near, that he is at the gates" (Mc 13,29).

The fig tree is a tree that grows by itself in many lands and countries. It emerges even on rocky terrain or where there are walls, adapting very well to spaces. It is a tree whose large leaves fall in autumn and begin to bloom in spring before the leaves of many other plants or trees. In other words, during the spring the first buds begin but they indicate that summer will soon arrive and they will be covered with leaves, with flowers and then the exquisite fruits will arrive. In fact, there is a famous saying that says: "For Saint Michael, figs are honey", because by September 29, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, the end of summer, the plant already bears its best fruits.

Before it will have gone through a completely dry, arid, frozen winter, it will be a bare tree that seems dead during the winter, which in fact is the best time for pruning, but that will be its rebirth, a bare and pruned tree will not be able to sprout and give abundant foliage in the summer to offer its succulent figs at the end of the summer, in fact another proverb that says: "Years of figs, years of friends".

The question is being able to read in which phase of the fig tree we are and why, that is, knowing how to read the signs of time that surround our life like those that surround the fig tree...

What season are we? In the winter when the sun darkens and the moon does not give its own light?

What events surround us that dry us up, "ruffle us... aridize us, uproot us and take away our hope of life"?

Or what people or situations disappear from our lives, fall, darken, do not give us more light, shake us or tremble us like the celestial powers that are mentioned in this gospel? 

But this is not the essence of this Sunday's gospel. The fundamental thing is how do we live these situations? Because when we lose the pages and get disheveled, due to illness, betrayal, disappointment, a change, a decision-making, a failure, or when others disheveled us with their sin, etc. etc., etc., for whatever reason winter has arrived... we feel the end, but is it the end?

Yes, perhaps it is the end of a stage that takes away the old leaves, the ones that no longer bear fruit, and what do we do? Do you stay there crying because it was the end, because you won't have what you had anymore, because they did to you, they told you, they took you, etc.? Many times we prefer to stay yellow and autumnal because we love to live as victims... or are we willing to see the Master there, waiting for us? Are we willing to listen and live the gospel that invites us to go further, to transcend with a look of faith: "then they will see the Son of Man coming in the midst of clouds with great power and glory" (Mk 13, 26) ?

That he comes in the clouds is an image that has been used since the Old Testament to indicate that God who becomes close to his people, especially in the desert, is the God who commits himself in alliance with his people, accompanies them in the desert, not abandons him because he has promised his presence, his providence and a land to which he will take him and will not abandon him until he fulfills his promises, Ex 13, 21 "The Lord went before them showing them the way: by day he went in a column cloud; by night, in a pillar of fire, giving light so that they might walk by night as by day." The cloud was a sign of his presence that with the column of cloud protects them from the burning sun of the desert but above all it is a sign of his presence committed to a covenant that does not abandon us and shows them the way day and night ( Ex 13,22).

It is therefore a question of working our life of faith, in these weeks prior to Advent and during it, so that we can perceive in the midst of those signs of disaster that we constantly experience, which can be spring and summer shoots, shoots of hope. . It all depends on how much we exercise to live that faith, to follow the invitation of the gospel to the Lord who is at the doors. Yes, at the gates of every situation, waiting for me to open up, he doesn't force me, he doesn't reproach me, he doesn't leave... he's there at the gates to offer me everything I need to live 

And that being at the gates of the Son of Man is nothing more than a loving presence that cannot see that we lose ourselves, that we lose hope, that we remain dishevelled, arid due to discouragement, due to lack of faith like blind people who do not see to the Lord and the true treasures that will cross the border of death, because "heaven and earth will pass away". And his presence doesn't falter even though I'm asleep, I don't hear him or don't want to hear him, I don't open or don't want to open him, but he doesn't lower his guard,

"I slept, but my heart was awake. I heard the voice of my beloved calling me: "Open to me, my sister, my mate, my dove, my precious one; for my head is covered with dew, and my hair is covered with moisture. of the night" (Cast 5, 2).

It is the love of the Risen Christ who cannot resist thinking and seeing us lost and condemned in the materialism of the world and its offers that end in nothing, deceived by achieving a worldly well-being that we will surely not take with us after death, to the maximum they can bury with the cadilac that was our treasure like a rich millionaire who ordered it, or with our diamond ring... but wait, lest grave robbers come and even in those times we are willing to give our treasures. 

And we can wonder and wonder why me? As the song from last week said, or as the poetry of Lope de Vega says, what do I have that my friendship seeks? and we will not find any other answer than because I love you, because I want you with me now and always:

What do I have, that my friendship seeks?

What interest is followed, my Jesus,

that at my door, covered with dew,

Do you spend dark winter nights?

Oh, how hard were my bowels,

Well, I didn't open you! What a strange nonsense

if from my ingratitude the cold ice

dried up the sores of your pure plants!

How many times did the angel tell me:

"Soul, now lean out of the window,

you will see with how much love to call porfia»!

And how many, sovereign beauty,

"Tomorrow we will open it," he answered,

for the same answer tomorrow!

That is why it is there at the gates, ready for us to enter that dimension of faith that allows us to enter the Kingdom where true treasures do not pass: "I rebuke and correct those I love. Come on, cheer up and convert. Behold, I am at the door and I knock: if anyone hears my voice and opens me, I will enter his house and eat with him and he with me. , I sat next to my Father on his throne. He who has ears, let him hear this message from the Spirit to the Churches" (Ap 3,19-22).

Lord, may we be one of those who have ears and hear! May we not turn a deaf ear to your words, which are the only ones that do not pass!

What does not live of the words that pass, of the words do not remain! May I live by Faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave everything for me! (Ps 2.20)

Increase my faith and help me to work on mysame @ to increase it so that I can discover your loving presence that sustains me in the most difficult trials of life, when I feelabandoned,undervalued,forget,discredited, if sickness comes, widowhood, old age! when the persecutions come or when my natural powers abandon me!

May I see the signs and feel your presence in a violent world that forgets your words!

That I can hear that you are at the door and you knock with such delicacy, that you are waiting for me to open you even though your hair is frozen by the winter dew, because you are not afraid to spend the dark and cold nights of my indifference and you will not stop being there because Do you want to come in, have dinner with me, make my heart your dwelling place and place your throne there, making me sit on it with you and next to you!

And above all, soften my hard entrails with your presence, let the powerful suns and moons break with their own light, the fixed stars to which I cling and the powerful cosmic figures on which I lean but which overshadow your presence in my life. .

We sing and we beg

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