While some people were talking about the Temple, remarking that it was adorned with fine stonework and rich gifts, Jesus said to them, «The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down».
And they asked him, «Master, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?». Jesus then said, «Take care not to be deceived, for many will come claiming my title and saying: ‘I am he, the Messiah; the time is at hand’. Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and troubled times, don't be frightened; for all this must happen first, even though the end is not so soon». And Jesus said, «Nations will fight each other and kingdom will oppose kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and plagues; in many places strange and terrifying signs from heaven will be seen».
Human pride will end miserably, for it serves no one, not even the person who holds it. In contrast, humility with an open heart gives access to all, gathering all goods, in the service of humanity. It is in this service to humanity that man can meet God and will have the possibility of hearing Him. We don't need any exterior signs to know the second coming of Jesus.
The place of worship, even today, is a place of gathering of the people of God, a sacred place of stones and gifts. Yet we are invited to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, as the Lord has invited the woman at the well of Jacob. This worship is only possible in the heart and in our soul, where the true divine dwelling place is.
Our dependence on external elements, including divine signs, not only hinders us from moving towards the Lord, towards the path of holiness, but is also capable of destroying all that God has established in us. Let us learn to trust in God and to live our lives fully in love and mercy. And, there will be no surprise.
Action of the day: Stop worrying about future, live in the present, in joy and peace.
«There shall not be left one stone upon another»
+ Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret
(Vic, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, astounded, we listen to the Lord's severe warning: «The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down» (Lk 21:6). Jesus' words can be placed in the antipodes of the so called “indefinite human progress culture” or, if preferred, of the unstoppable evolution of some techno/scientific and political/military leaders of the human species.
Where from? Where to? This, nobody knows and nobody can tell, other than, in the last instance, a supposed eternal matter that denies God while, at the same time, usurping his attributes. Amazing, how they try to make us swallow it hook, line and sinker, who, on their side, refuse to accept the temporality and precarious status typical of our human condition!
As disciples of the Son of God-Made-Man, Jesus, we hear his very words and, while making them ours, we ponder over them. He is saying: «Take care not to be deceived!» (Lk 21:8). This is asserted by He, Who came to bear witness of the truth, while affirming that those belonging to the truth listen to his voice.
And He adds: «The end is not so soon» (Lk 21:9). Which means, on the one hand, that we still have time for salvation and we must take advantage of that; and, on the other, that the end will come, anyway. Yes, Jesus, will come «to judge the living and the dead», as we profess in the Creed.
Dear readers of Contemplating Today's Gospel, dear brothers and friends: a few verses further down this fragment I'm commenting now, Jesus encourages us and consoles us with these words that I repeat in his name: «By your endurance you will gain your souls!» (Lk 21:19).
By trying to be a warm and cordial echo of these words, and with the energy of a Christian hymn, we shall exhort one another: «Let us persevere, as we are already attaining the summit with our hands!».