“He will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens”.

Mk 13:27 NIV

The glory of God is shown in all manner of mysterious events. The message the angel gave to Mary (the annunciation) was mysterious. So were the angels and their singing at Christ’s birth. His baptism featured a voice from heaven. And his transfiguration was all mystery and quite unearthly, but full of glory. His resurrection was complete glory. It is apprehended in meeting God as he reveals himself on earth and in earthly events. It is not understood intellectually. It is observed and worshipped.

The future coming of the Son of Man would, said Jesus, similarly be accompanied by aspects of the divine mystery. Unlike the false messiahs he would not depend on tricks and gimmicks. By contrast with them “this Son of Man will send his angels to gather the chosen from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. This is another signal to those with eyes to see, a whisper to those with ears to hear, that wherever they are scattered and however they are being treated, or however they perceive themselves, God will gather them all in at the end. The pathway through history is only partly perceived by observation. The story will be completed at the end by both its fulfilment and by our total picture of it from that vantage point” (D. English, The Message of Mark, p208).

Jesus does not here say that he himself is this Son of Man. His usual reticence comes to the fore. But he lets us see some hint of what the future will be like.


Lord, where I cannot grasp intellectually, help me to perceive spiritually.

Posted in Devotion.