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Mark 13:28 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.
The fig tree taught me that if I’m not ready, I will miss out. From great mentors in Christ, I have learned that grace abounds. Passages like today’s from Mark seem like a head-on collision between these two lessons. Can they survive together?
At times, I pretend there is no conflict between the lessons. I think, “As long as I pray, love those around me, and strive for justice, it will be ok.” That might be true, but why would Jesus stress the timeliness of the fig tree? If even Jesus does not know the hour, what can I do? That is where the lesson concerning grace matters most. By devoting our attention to God’s grace, we train our eyes to see the fig leaves. Summer is near, and that is good news.
MOVING FORWARD: Share a lesson you have learned about preparation and grace with someone you love. Maybe you could share some Fig Newtons too.
Today the Church remembers Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and Theologian, 430.