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Friday, December 1, 2000

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Revelation 20:1-4, 11—21:2
Psalm 84
Luke 21:29-33

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in season or out of season?

"Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. You observe them when they are budding, and know for yourselves that summer is near." —Luke 21:29-30

We must know what season of the year it is. If a farmer in the Northern hemisphere works hard planting corn in December, he is wasting his time and his corn, for it is not the season to plant. If he waits till winter to harvest his crops, he will lose his crops and starve, because autumn, not winter, is the season for harvesting. To know the season in an agrarian society is a matter of life and death.

Jesus told us that we must know the spiritual seasons. If we are in the autumn of our lives or of our world, we are fools if we are acting as if we have a lot of time left. If we missed the season for planting, how can we harvest anything? To know the spiritual season can be a matter of salvation or damnation.

We can know the spiritual seasons by observing "the fig tree, or any other tree" (Lk 21:29). The Lord sometimes likens His people to a tree (see Lk 13:6ff; Mk 11:13ff; Ps 80:9). Consequently, we can know the spiritual season by looking at God's people throughout the world. Are we bearing much fruit? Then it must be the spiritual season of summer. Are we reaping the harvest of evangelization? Then it must be autumn. If we are not bearing fruit, we may be in the winter of dying to self or in our self-made winter of sin.

Look at the Church. Look at yourself as a member of the Church. Which spiritual season is God's will for you? Is that the season in which you have chosen to live?

Prayer:  Father, may I be in Your season.

Promise:  "Each person was judged according to his conduct. Then death and the nether world were hurled into the pool of fire, which is the second death; anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the book of the living was hurled into this pool of fire. Then I saw new heavens and a new earth." —Rv 20:13—21:1

Praise:  Jerry, a young teenager, chose to enter the Catholic Church. Within a year, he shared his faith with his friend who joined the Church shortly thereafter.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000