Signs in the Sky

Signs can be ambiguous, or they can be very certain. There are the ‘signs’ of the sacraments fall into the latter category, given to us to ensure we are given grace, in its various forms, not least the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Then there are the certain signs of the approved sacramentals, by which, if we use them rightly, are definitely dipositive to grace.

Then there are the less certain various ‘signs’ in our world, the great and the small, that may, or may not, signify God’s providence, His presence and action, not least the ‘signs in the sky’. True enough, our Lord warned that it is a wicked generation that seeks a sign. But He also said that sometimes there are signs that are given to us, to wake us from our spiritual sloth and slumber, saying that we should keep our wits about us, and our eyes, sometimes, above us:

And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Now, we’re likely not near that yet, for much yet has to take place before the ‘end of the world’; nor should we think the solar eclipse on this year’s Solemnity of the Annunciation a sign of the consummation of all things. But it may well be a sign of something – the occlusion falling on this feast, and upon seven towns named Nineveh in the U.S. seems significant. There are other astronomical signs that go along with an eclipse. And is all this really connected with the recent earthquake in New York? I don’t know how many towns are named Nineveh, nor the significance of tectonic shifts under Manhattan, nor how probable either of them are.

What I do know, as this sermon exhorts, is that we Catholics should pray, not least on this feast, which recalls the most important event in all of history, the re-creation of the world with the Incarnation of God Himself, taking upon Himself our very nature, our flesh, our humanity, and even all the punishment for our sins, to redeem and save us. The least we can do is give thanks to Christ and His holy Mother, and pray that each and every souls on this face of God’s good Earth may avail themselves of the grace they offer, before it be too late. After all, every sunrise and sunset is a sign of God’s good providence over this world. This is the day of salvation, and the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice, and be glad.