Luke 21: 5-19
While some people were speaking about how
the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, "All that you see here-- the days
will come when there will not be left a
stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these
things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that
you not be deceived, for many will come in my
name, saying, ´I am he,’ and ´The time has
come.’ Do not follow them!
When you hear
of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such
things must happen first, but it will not immediately
be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation
will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There
will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to
place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come
from the sky. Before all this happens, however, they
will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you
over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will
have you led before kings and governors because of
my name. It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for
I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist
or refute. You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some
of you to death. You will be hated by
all because of my name, but not a hair on
your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you
will secure your lives."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I turn
to you today with faith, knowing that you are
the Lord of life and history. Aware of my
weaknesses and failures, I set my hopes in you, for
you always fulfill your promises. As I contemplate your
love that becomes fidelity, I, too, desire to repay
you with my fidelity. I am here before you to
listen and, in listening, discover your will for me
Petition: Lord, grant me the grace to
set my heart on what is eternal and everlasting.
1. Things Change: Like the people gazing at the physical
beauty of the Temple, we, too, can be mesmerized
by the fleeting glitter of the treasures of this
world. Time, experience and our faith teach us that things
change, including relationships. Our relationships with one another are
never static; they are either being weaved more intimately,
or they are fraying or coming apart at the
seams. This also holds true for our relationship with Christ.
All we do moves us deeper into his Sacred
Heart or moves us away from him.
2. Christ Is Always
the Same: Christ is the most sacred of temples;
he is the Temple. Yet he changed. His body
suffered the wounds that man inflicted upon his body.
Christ changed interiorly, too. He suffered loneliness of the
worst kind, when he experienced the effects of sin in
the depths of his soul – separation from the
Father and separation from his closest friends, his apostles.
Yet in essence, Christ always remained the same, for he
is love itself, and love is everlasting. Christ suffered
physical and interior changes in his human nature so
that we might partake of his divine nature, which is
the same yesterday, today and forever.
3. The Gift of
Perseverance: In order for us to enjoy eternal
life, we must persevere. St. Paul talks about running the
race, and moreover, about winning the race. Christ teaches
us about the final victory and that to achieve
this we must never deny him. Yet we are weak,
and there are many ways that we deny our
Lord. How can we who are so weak run the
race and win the gift that lasts forever? Christ
gives us the answer: Trust in him, not in ourselves
or in the things or ways of this world.
We will persevere through the grace he won for
us on Calvary.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, your
beauty transcends all creation, even my holiest of thoughts.
Please bless me with the gift to appreciate more
perfectly the limited beauty of created things and the infinite
and everlasting beauty of you, my Lord and my
Resolution: Today I will reflect on the beauty
of God’s creation and on the reality that all
creation changes. As well, I will see and respect the
everlasting beauty that resides, or should reside, in the
hearts of all men, so that I will treat
all people with the highest degree of respect.