Today, Jesus invites us to see how the fig tree buds sprout, a symbol of our Church that, periodically, is renewing itself thanks to that inner power God instills in it (let us remember the allegory of the vine and the branches, cf. Jn 15): «Look at the fig tree and all the trees. As soon as their buds sprout, you know that summer is already near» (Lk 21:29-30).
The eschatological discourse we are reading these days, in its prophetic style, deliberately warps chronology, by placing at the same level things that must happen in different moments. The fact that, in the portion of the fragment chosen for today's liturgy, we have a very limited range, allows us to think that, perhaps, we should assume what is therein said as said by us, here and now: «This generation will not pass away, until all this has happened» (Lk 21:32). In fact, Origen already comments: «All this can happen in each one of us; in us, death may remain destroyed, the definite enemy of ours».
Today, I would like to speak as the prophets did: we are about to contemplate a great sprouting in the Church. Look at the signs of the times (cf. Mt 16:3). Soon important things are to happen. Do not be afraid. Remain in your place. Set the seeds enthusiastically. And, afterwards, you will joyfully return carrying your bundled sheaves (cf. Ps 126,6). It is true that the enemy-man will keep on sowing darnel. The evil will not burn until the end of time (cf. Mt 13:30). But the Kingdom of God is already here amidst us. And, through great efforts, it is making his way (cf. Mt 11:12).
Pope John Paul II, said it at the beginning of the third millennium: «Duc in altum» (cf. Lk 5:4). At times, we may feel we do nothing worthwhile, or, even feel we go backwards. But these pessimistic impressions originate in calculations, which are extremely human, or in the bad image some media malevolently likes to give of us. The hidden reality that makes no noise, is this constant work we are doing together, impelled by the force of the Saint Spirit.