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Luke 21:5-11

The Word of God

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down." They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?" And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is near!' Do not go after them. When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven."

Luke 21:5-11
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • As I look around at my world, how do I respond to the ‘portents’ Jesus mentions? Am I able to see God’s finger in the events of today, both in my own life and in the world at large?
    • St Teresa of Avila spoke of ‘let nothing upset or trouble you’. Do I know that I am held in God’s palm and I am safe? Can I talk with Jesus about my fears?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • At every pivotal time in the history of our planet, there are people who claim to see the end in sight. The coming of the third millennium was no exception. The attitude of Christians is not to be one of fear and anxiety. It sees the new era as a time of challenge and opportunity, a time for new beginnings.
    • On a more personal and realistic level, we may be anxious about the signs of our own time of departure from this world. It does not help to become fearful and anxious but rather to live each day to the full. Talk to Jesus about any fears you may have remembering his words “I am with you always, until the end of time.”
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus warns against distraction. We must be prepared, remain firm in faith. He calls us to be rooted and stable while also being ready to shed everything. He reminds us that without him as the centre of our lives, we will be lost.
    • Jesus’ words about the end of time can be disturbing. When he foretells the destruction of the physical Temple in Jerusalem, we need to recall what replaces that temple. As temples of the Spirit, we are ‘born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading’ (2 Pet 1:4).
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • At the time the Gospel of Luke was written, some Christians took certain words of Jesus to mean that he would be returning soon to bring history to an end. Here Luke is reminding his readers that Jesus admonished his followers not to be taken in by those who say they know that the end is near. The followers of Jesus will not be spared from witnessing anarchy and serious violence, but these will not mean that the end is near or far. The way of the Christian is the same one that Jesus trod, through violence and injustice, but also through the love and provident care of God. I ask God to help me live through the instability that characterises our world with a heart filled with peace and trust.
    • Jesus knows how easy it is to be led astray in times of distress on a large scale. We want explanations and clear answers. He foresaw that many would come and claim, even in his name, to have the key to explain what is going on. Jesus warns us not to go after such people but to live the present with patient trust in God.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The temple was not just the centre of the Jews' civilisation: it was the place where God lived among them. Jesus told them that it was all going to fall apart! Is there any way in which my "secure centre"--either personal or national--threatens to collapse? The fall of the Twin Towers is a powerful symbol for many of us. The key words from Jesus in all of this are: "Do not be terrified". Can I allow Jesus, the Consoler, to speak to me, wherever I am?
    • As we pray, the gospels of the end times call us to trust in the presence and love of God when the end of life comes, or the end of the world - however that might be. Praying these gospels may lead us to reflect on the mystery of trust in our lives and to give thanks for those we have trusted and can trust throughout our lives. People who were there for us at very bad times, or people who can share our joy. Our ability to trust in God and trust in others is closely linked.
    • Jesus tells us to be prepared, to remain firm in faith. He calls us to be rooted and stable while also being ready to shed everything. He reminds us that without him as the centre of our lives, we will be lost.
    • The telling of the daily news makes it easy to believe that our times are worse than others. While technology is used to spread gloomy and disheartening news, I give thanks that it also leads me to Jesus’ truth.