Friday of the Twenty-NinthWeek in Ordinary Time
The memory and the vigilance
He also 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? Lk 12,54-57
As a boy I was always struck by the timeliness of the bathing attendants at the beach to dismantle the beach-umbrellas before the raising of the south-west wind and, more importantly, that of the farmers who anticipate the grape-gathering for a week when the rain was foreseen to come. “How do you forecast -I wondered sometimes – to be sure that the time changes?”. “Experience, boy, experience” they replied most of the time. Today it is easier to predict what the weather will be, because there are fairly accurate predictions, but at that time it was essential to know how to read the signs of the weathering, a capacity which was acquired over the years. But it was not only experience, it was also ”ability to remember” and especially it was “vigilance” in time to catch the approaching changes. The today charges of Jesus to the crowds are lack of memory and surveillance, and in particular to the pharisees: “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?” John the Baptist, who was vigilant, sent his disciples to ask to Jesus: “Are you the one who is to come, or we should look for another?” (Mt 11,3). The Jesus answer was clear: “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain the sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised” (Mt 11,4-5). Jesus answered by the facts, showing that the prophecies of the Old Testament were taking place via him: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tong of the dumb will sing” (Is 35,5-6). Jesus, that is, having admired in John the “vigilance”, invites him “to remember.” We, too, to feed our faith, need to be vigilant and have good memory. We must remember all the times in which the Lord has protected us from the dangers, blessed by the providence, opened for us the right doors and closed the wrong ones at the moment of important choices. The life in the footsteps of the Lord is a continuous miracle, just we have to get used to recognize and to remember it.