To interpret the present time


It is a fact that certain animals have instinct to know the weather in advance; they retire to the safety of their holes before the inclement weather strikes. Human beings who live close to nature can also predict the weather, like people in Jesus’ time who knew how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky.

“What about the present time?” Jesus asks his listeners. Are they aware of the “signs of the time” vis-à-vis their relationship with God? Jesus has been preaching to them about servants waiting for their master’s return and the need to be vigilant and responsible. He is calling them to a change of heart, to repentance. Will they “settle” with one another, be reconciled with one another, before the hour of judgment catches up with them?

Today, we need “prophets” who know how to read the signs of the times. Pope Francis challenges especially consecrated people to act as one: “Prophets receive from God the ability to scrutinize the times in which they live and to interpret events. Prophets know God and they know the men and women who are their brothers and sisters. They are able to discern and denounce the evil of sin and injustice. Prophets tend to be on the side of the poor and powerless, for they know that God himself is on their side” (Letter to All Consecrated People).

GOSPEL • Lk 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain—and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot— and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

 “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail:; Website: