Father Edward McIlmail, LC
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."
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 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, tsunamis, 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?
3. Redemption 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.
will make a fresh effort to get rid of the
biggest vice in my life