When I was younger, with far fewer time commitments and responsibilities, I would lay on the ground looking up at the clouds. Weather permitting, I would spend hours lying there, at times trying to identify shapes, mostly animals, sometimes people, but mostly, just watching in wonder as the clouds drifted overhead.
I like the big white bright clouds. I also find the dark, menacing clouds of a severe storm mesmerizing. Of course, there are the sunrise and sunset clouds that explode with reds, and oranges, and yellows. Then there are the clouds with “God rays” coming out of them. These are clouds that hide the sun, yet rays of sunlight shoot out like laser beams of sorts.
I am not sure why I have this fascination with clouds. Maybe I simply find them beautiful, find them cool. Or, maybe like snowflakes, no two clouds are alike. Or, maybe it is something innate, something on my heart, something related to what we hear in our readings this weekend, and the Gospel from last weekend. In the first reading from the Prophet Daniel we hear, “I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven…” Our second reading from Revelation, we hear, “Behold, he is coming amid the clouds.” This cloud theme got started last weekend when, from the Gospel of Mark, Jesus himself says, “And then they will see the ‘Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory…” I might add, we also have the ascension of Jesus described in Acts of the Apostles, where Jesus is taken up by a cloud. Then, two men in white appear, telling the apostles that Jesus will return in the same way.
At least four times the second coming of Christ is associated with clouds with one instance being that of Jesus saying so himself. Aside from the reference in Acts, the other references are part of the readings the last two Sundays of the liturgical year, just as Advent is about to start. As we prepare to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus, the King of kings, the Church reminds us of his second coming. Just as we prepare for Advent, we should prepare for his second coming. Let us set aside some time among our other commitments, our other responsibilities to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming, though we do not know the day or the hour.
Praying that you and your loved ones have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving, and many congratulations to all those who received the sacrament of Confirmation here today. May our Lord Jesus continue to bless you!
In the peace of Christ,