“Behold the fig tree, and all the trees. When they put forth their buds, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things coming to pass, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Luke 21: 29-31
The Advent season in an invitation to sanctity. Yes, we wait “with joyful hope for the coming of our Savior.” We have hopeful expectations that He will come again in all His glory. We even look for signs like Jesus told us in Luke’s gospel. We pour over the signs of our times and wonder if the end is near. Some of us long for the end of the world with a longing that is so deep in our soul that we fear we will die from the longing. We ask with the Psalmist, “How long, O Lord?”
There were two meanings in the Gospel on Sunday. Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Then, He turned to His second coming. He gives us a reason to be glad for it. “Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21: 28
Finally, He exhorts us to sanctity. We have to face the fact that only by being holy as the Father is holy will we enter into heaven. He is the fountain of life and grace; of strength and holiness. He has already merited everything that serves for our sanctification; His gifts are unnumbered, yet we can not become saints unless we co-operate with Him.
Sanctity is the fullness of grace. Jesus wills this for all of us. Then, why are so few of us saints? Why am I not a saint?
Sanctity is not obtained by our accomplishments or the number of gifts we have received from God. Rather it is in the degree of sanctifying grace and charity to which our souls have attained by cooperating with His many invitations, inspirations and actual graces. The gifts of Baptism and the Holy Spirit and all the sacraments should have already increased our treasure trove of grace. And, yet, we remain slothful, prideful, and stingy.
It didn’t escape my attention that Luke’s chapter 21 begins with the Widow’s mite–extreme charity from extreme poverty. What a lesson for us to begin this Advent season. If we are to prove to Jesus that we are sincere about becoming holy, we need to, with His help, be very, very generous. We need to overcome our selfishness and attachment to things no matter what it costs us. We need to say a resounding “yes” to Him even when we would rather let our “hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life.” Luke 21″ 34 We must not grow lazy in our pursuit of sanctity.
“O Jesus, never allow me to oppose and hinder Your actions in my soul. Pursue me with Your grace until I give myself entirely to you.”
Have a blessed Advent. Pursue sainthood with fervor!
One response to “The Fig Tree”
I hope you can reach our Protestant brethren about what you said regarding “sanctity.” True Catholics do not believe we “earn” heaven— but we can lose it through misuse of our free will. — Tony