1. Introductory prayer for Signs of the End Times in the Bible – Mark 13,33-37
I pause and slowly calm myself. I make the sign of the cross, becoming more deeply aware of God’s presence within me and in everything that surrounds me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the gift of being moved by God’s word, which I am now allowed to read, listen to, ponder, and allow it to shape Christ within me (Gal 4:19), that I may become merciful, just as the heavenly Father is merciful (Lk 6:36). I ask for this in my own words or by using the following:
“O Heavenly Father, thank you for granting us the Advent season once again. May the prayerful reflection on the Gospel passage help me comprehend the significance of responsibly and eagerly anticipating the final coming of your Son. Yet, let me not overlook His presence in this time and the invitation to collaborate with Him in building God’s kingdom.”
Please grant me the grace to be able to listen from the outside and from within. From the outside, the words I read, from within, the feelings and impulses that arise. Slowly, I begin to read the passage from the Gospel. Word by word. Line by line. I gaze upon Him who speaks to me.
2. Reading – Listening: Signs of the End Times in the Bible – Mark 13,33-37
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Choose from a variety of T-shirts - See more...
3. Thoughts on the Gospel: Signs of the End Times in the Bible – Mark 13,33-37 – Meaning and Commentary
Wealthy landowners often entrusted their estates to trustworthy servants and stewards. This allowed them freedom to travel, trade, and expand business. They expected loyalty, and hard work, and duly rewarded them. Obedient servants eagerly awaited the master’s return, ensuring order in the household and on the estate.
In the parable, Jesus doesn’t explicitly state if the servants were prepared for their master’s unexpected return or if they were enthusiastic or concerned about it. However, those servants who awaited him diligently undoubtedly showed their joy in his arrival.
When we anticipate a highly significant event, we rejoice. Jesus Christ expects us to await with enthusiasm the most crucial event—His glorious return at the end of times, foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament (Isaiah 2:5).
Advent reminds us that we live in the last times, initiated by Christ’s first coming and culminating in His second coming on the day of judgment and salvation for His people. Though certain, the exact time remains undisclosed. He will come swiftly and unexpectedly.
Hence, Jesus advises us not to be caught off guard. Surely, He will arrive at the right time! He invites us to pray for His coming: ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ (Matthew 6:10)
The prophet Isaiah assures that God will reward those eagerly awaiting His visit (Isaiah 64:4). Jesus Christ has entrusted us with His gifts and graces, expecting us to use them for His glory and for the benefit and blessing of others. He doesn’t want us to squander the present time but to conduct everything with love that serves with respect, compassion, and mercy.
The vigilance Christ speaks of isn’t passive ‘waiting and watching for what will happen’ but an active vigilance and prayer. We shouldn’t just await Christ but be watchful with Him and, in His Spirit, be active in all our relationships.
Let’s seek the Holy Spirit in this Advent season to awaken our hearts and minds, enabling us to comprehend what the Father communicates through Jesus Christ, His Word, and all events witnessed in this time. Let’s responsibly and enthusiastically prepare for His return. May it free us from complacency, the bondage of sin, worldliness, and attachment to transient things, filling our hearts with fervent, serving love for all people we encounter in various circumstances.”
4. Meditation – Thinking
I am now reflecting on the heard Word of God. I am looking at Jesus and other individuals in the passage. I am observing how the Word of God touches my thoughts and feelings, how it reveals God to me and me to myself and others in Him. The following thoughts or questions can also be helpful:
- With what thoughts and feelings do I enter into the Advent season? I share with the Father, through Christ, all that I carry within me.
- How does Jesus’ invitation to ‘Stay awake’ resonate within me?
- How does my responsible and enthusiastic anticipation of Christ’s second coming influence my relationships?”
5. Personal Prayer
In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).
6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God
I allow everything within me to fall silent. I am simply present in God, just as He is present in me. Perhaps from this silence and stillness, I will sense even more of God’s address and His desire for me to be always with Him and to do everything with Him and in Him…
When I enter into a personal relationship with God, He transforms me, makes me more loving, and inspires me to take concrete action…
8. Prayer at the end
“Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing me to be with you through your Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for giving me once again the opportunity to pause, to be vigilant, and to discover the preciousness of responsible and enthusiastic anticipation of your Son’s second coming, and to collaborate with Him now in all my relationships.”
9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection
This is the time when I became aware of and articulate what was happening within me during prayer. The following questions can assist me in reflection:
- What was happening during prayer? What feelings and thoughts could I discern within myself?
- What did I learn about God, His relationship with me and others, and my own relationship with Him and others?
- How did I conclude my prayer? What did I receive in it for my everyday life?
- In the end, I can jot down my insights, discoveries, and realizations. I also note where I encountered difficulties, as these can be valuable in understanding God’s relationship with me and my relationship with Him. They can also help me find a more suitable way of praying. Then, I express gratitude to the triune God for everything.
Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si
Text from the Bible – King James Version (kKJV)