Jesus reveals the destruction of the Temple and the chaos preceding His Second Coming. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Counsel so he can be protected by the Spirit from false prophets and by pursuing the Virtue of Hope so he can be strengthened by God to withstand the inevitable trials and turmoil in life.
34th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Lk 21:5-11
During Holy Week, Jesus taught in the Temple area every day. The Temple, in the 50th year of an 80-year enhancement project, confirmed Israel’s desire to sacrifice to serve God, but was also a symbol of Jewish pride which signaled their desire to regain their national sovereignty. The Temple was built of massive stones, some the size of semi-trucks, decorated with exquisite art and expensive materials imported from all over the Middle East, and was an example of remarkable craftsmanship. Looming over Jerusalem like, a “snow-clad mountain”, all would have believed the massive Temple would stand for thousands of years.
Jesus’ pronouncement that the Temple would be utterly destroyed must have seemed impossible given the sheer scope of the structure, and because people believed that God would protect His Temple. After Jesus reveals the Temple will be destroyed, He does not answer the shocked questions from His disciples. Instead, Jesus warns them not to believe false proclamations of those claiming to be Christ and to not fear the inevitable “wars and tumults” that will precede His Second Coming. Jesus’ prophecy of the complete destruction of the Temple comes true less than 40 years later when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem to put down a Jewish rebellion; hundreds of thousands of Jews died.
Jesus reveals the calamitous events that remain in the future before His Second Coming which include human conflict and catastrophic calamities in the natural world which will lead to great human suffering. Wars will rage as nations kingdoms take up arms against each other. In the natural world, earthquakes will rock the earth and there will be great signs in the sky as the cosmic realm is shaken. As a result of the human and natural chaos, people will suffer greatly, being tormented by starvation and ravaged with plagues.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by Jesus, the Divine Prophet, as He reveals future events to guide and protect His men: Divine Knowledge, Jesus has detailed knowledge about all future events which span time, including the acts of men, groups of men (kingdoms, wars, destruction of the Temple), human events (famines, pestilences) and geologic events (earthquakes); Divine King and Protector, Jesus Somberly Warns His current and future disciples to reject future false prophets and to reject being terrified, assuring them of His Divine Providence.
Be counseled by the Spirit to reject false prophets
Realize: Jesus does not give the timing of His return in the Second Coming, and warns men not to believe false prophets who proclaim, “I am he.”
Believe: Review the Creed’s section, He Will Come Again in Glory (CCC 668-677, 680-682).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I am guided by You to recognize and reject false prophets and their insidious teachings, and I am directed by You to know how and when to take any action Christ requires of me.
Build hope to withstand trials and turmoil
Realize: Jesus warns of the wars, persecutions, and disasters that will take place before He returns; since the Resurrection, the world has been afflicted with such trauma, trauma that may increase to unbearable levels in the coming years, given the growing widespread evil and rebellion against God.
Believe: Reflect upon the Coming Trials (CCC 672, 1296, 2612) and for the Hope of the New Heaven and the New Earth (CCC 1042-1050).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Hope so I never fall into despair during trials and turmoil in my life, I completely trust in Your Dominion and promises, and I joyfully and patiently look forward to Your coming Kingdom.