Today we celebrate the official closing of the Church’s liturgical year. Next week we celebrate the feast of Christ the King then the season of Advent begins as we prepare for Christmas 2018 and, in so doing, we commence a new year of the Church’s celebrations.

So today the message is essentially about “end-time”. Using apocalyptic language (symbolic language), St Mark the author invites the readers of his story to be constantly alert because we live in between the beginning and the end of time. We are, in fact, living and experiencing the fullness of God’s creation. It is important, therefore, for us to be alert and to recognise the “signs of the times”.

St Mark uses the image of Autumn when leaves fall from the trees to make way for new growth. As a community of believers we need to acknowledge that our life as a Church has to change to enable new growth and new life to blossom again.

It seems to be a very relevant message for our local church today. We must look at the “signs of the times” and be open to new ways.

In St Mark’s gospel today, we are actually being invited to make a serious re-assessment of everything that is going on in our community. We are reminded that Jesus is the bearer of “good news”. Hence all that is less than “good” in our Church must be eradicated to enable Jesus, who is “good news”, to come again.

Rev Fr Tom Stevens