November 17, Signs of the times: a Sunday Scriptures blog

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is talking to his disciples about the times they are living in, and what might be coming. They ask him, “What sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” Before today’s young adults were born, Pope Saint John XXIII called Vatican Council II (1962-65). He called the gathered church to respond to the signs of the times. What are the signs of our own times to which we ought respond?

I am heartened by some of the world’s young people from many nations. Some of them are leading the way, like prophets for today, by insisting on reforms to save the environment, control gun violence and mitigate the income gap between the extraordinarily wealthy and the poor. There are other “signs” that I might add to the list of calamities that endanger our world today: the scourge of pornography; the breakup of family life; the lack of education of women; excessive individualism. One lament I have is that we seldom hear about any of these signs of the times from the pulpit, partly because people in the pew insist that the church should not talk about politics. But politics is one of the main ways we humans have created to deal with the signs of the times, and these huge and complex issues need the energy and strength and persistence of religious people to craft an adequate response. Many people tell me that they agree beforehand not to discuss any “political” issue at family Thanksgiving gatherings. Hmm… So if we don’t talk about these things as church or as families, how do we respond to the signs of the times?

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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