Continuing the Sunday readings through Mark (13:24-32) Jesus continues to expound upon the end times. Here He tells His disciples that the sun and moon will be darkened and the stars will fall just before the Son of Man returns sending His angels out to gather the elect. Jesus uses the fig tree to teach a lesson: Just as they know the season that the fig tree sprouts they should also know the time when Jesus will again draw near — and it will happen before the current generation is completely gone. He then speaks the line above before saying that only God the Father knows the precise time of these occurrences. Jesus’ words — the words of the Word — are very powerful. So powerful, in fact, that they will outlast all creation. Since that is so, how much more seriously should we take Sacred Scripture in our lives. How we live or don’t live these words has everlasting consequences since the Word is eternal. The Bible should be an integral part of our lives as it is the perfect “self-help” book for daily living. Time should be devoted each day, ideally in the context of the Mass, but not limited to that celebration. These words of wisdom help us on our earthly journey, guiding us through the joys and sufferings, trials and tribulations of life. The reader will be surprised how often the chosen excerpt precisely is something he needed to hear or applies directly to a particular situation of difficulty. Over time, scripture becomes part of the devoted reader and then he can apply it to any number of different life situations of his own as well as being able to provide sage advice to those facing challenges or struggles to which they can see no solution. Jesus said: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lk 12:49) Let’s do our part to add the kindling.