By Father Edward McIlmail, LC
By Luke 21:20-28
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 at hand."
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.
Petition: Lord, give me a healthy but realistic
- 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?
- 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?
Conversation with 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
Resolution: I will make a fresh effort to get
rid of the biggest vice in my life