Jesus said to his disciples: "When you see Jerusalem
surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let
those within the city escape from it, and let those
in the countryside not enter the city, for these days
are the time of punishment when all the scriptures are
fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those
days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall
by the edge of the sword and be taken as
captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled
underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles
are fulfilled. "There will be signs in the sun, the
moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be
in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and
the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of
what is coming upon 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. But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is
Introductory Prayer: Jesus my
Savior, thank you for another day and another chance to
grow in holiness with your grace. I love you and
wish to make you the true center of my thoughts,
desires and actions.
give me a healthy but realistic Christian optimism.
1. Desolation at Hand: What a grim
Gospel passage! Lots of talk of armies and calamity and
roaring seas. Jesus is speaking of the coming destruction of
Jerusalem (in A.D. 70) as well as images of the
end times In our day we can think of wars,
terrorism, floods and wonder why the world is such a
nasty place sometimes. Why can´t life be easier? Why do
so many innocent people suffer? Alas, Our Lord asked the
same questions. All the evil we see springs from original
sin, from the fall of Adam. It wasn´t God´s plan
to have all this suffering--but he allows it. He allows
it because he respects our freedom. He allows it too
because he knows he can bring good out of it.
How do I use my freedom? Do I have enough
faith in Christ to be optimistic?
2. Trampled Underfoot: The fall of Jerusalem didn´t mean that
God abandoned the world. True, the focus of religion would
no longer be the Temple; rather, it would be a
new focus: Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. The tabernacle
would be the new center of attention. How few souls
grasp that truth! After 2,000 years, Jesus is still humble,
allowing himself to be kept in a tabernacle. Does that
fact influence the way I act in a church? Does
it affect the way I dress when going to church?
Do I try to enter church with the proper state
of heart and mind?
at Hand: Faithful following of Christ gives us the best
assurance that our lives have meaning. Christ will make sense
of everything at the end of our lives. All our
struggles to live the Gospel will be worth it. On
the last day we might regret many things, but we
will never regret the things we did for Christ. Does
that truth guide our lives each day? Do we live
each day as if it were our last? What is
there in my life that I would be ashamed of
on the last day? Why not weed it out of
my life now?
Christ: Lord, help me to judge the things of my
daily life against eternity. Let me see things with your
eyes. Let me see what is really valuable and what
is fleeting. And help me to act accordingly.
Resolution: I will make a fresh effort
to get rid of the biggest vice in my life
By Father Edward McIlmail, LC