With Advent soon approaching us, we see in Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus warning his disciples about the end of times.
To begin, he describes the environmental changes that will occur – “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven”.
At first glance, one might interpret these words to be quite apocalyptic, words that describe a world that is shutting down.
This is not dissimilar to how people have perceived many significant events that have occurred throughout history. For example, periods of war, natural disasters, the current COVID-19 pandemic or even tragedies that have happened in our own lives.
Circumstances with such significance and heavy emotional impact often cause panic or anxiety for people, leading them to question if the world is coming to an end.
In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us that although the world will appear to be ending, these significant events must happen before God recalls his people to him. He further emphasises in this passage that God alone will be the only one who will know when the world will come to an end.
As such, this Gospel teaches us that we cannot surmise or predict when Jesus will return. So, we must live a life that is prepared and consistent with the teachings of Jesus and to trust in God’s plans, even in times of darkness – “Heaven and Earth will pass away but my words will not pass away”.