'My dear son, be patient, because the weaknesses of the body are given to us in this world by God for the salvation of the soul. So they are of great merit when they are borne patiently.” ― Francis of Assisi, The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi
Gospel Text: (LK 21:5-11)
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?”
“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.”
But what do we really need to know about the end of the world?
Jesus refuses to answer the “when” question that agitates his followers. He tells them to expect natural as well as man-made disasters and not to be taken by surprise when they happen. He cautions them not to believe any prophet of doom. There are only a few things they need to know.
First, God is in charge. Nothing happens outside his providence. He is making use of everything to build his kingdom.
Second, God doesn’t act alone. He has chosen to act on earth through his body, the Church. That means Christ living in us. We are a part of his plan to redeem the world!
Third, God doesn’t intend for us to act alone. He calls us together and interweaves our individual strengths and weaknesses in an amazing pattern.
In today’s gospel Jesus also speaks about not being misled, not to follow false prophets, and not to be afraid. Be assured that God will bring good out evil. Right will triumph in the end, and the task for the disciple is to show patience and endurance. (LK 21:19 - By endurance you will gain your lives.")