A reading from the holy gospel according to Luke 21:5-11
5 While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
6 “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.”
7 Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
8 He answered, “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!
9 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.”
10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
11 There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”
Reflection: Do not be terrified.
In the history of the world, many natural as well as man-made calamities such as earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis and wars have already happened and many more will happen. Massive destructions and even divisions have come and gone. False prophets have appeared before and many more will be visiting places in the future. With the deadly Covid-19 virus that has infected and killed millions of people, ravaged our economy and instilled fear to many, the question is still the same: Is the end of the world as we know it near?
Jesus says that such calamities must happen but it will not immediately be the end. Moreover, he specifically told His listeners that no one knows the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36). The message to us therefore is not to be swayed by false prophets and to avoid speculation. What is important is to be prepared at any time by taking care of our loving relationship with God and with others.
Whatever will happen, let us keep the faith. Yes, our faith in a loving God will see us through. No need to be terrified. Instead, let us always live in the present moment with joyful hope for the second coming of Christ. Let our faith keep us longing for our total redemption that will enable us to rise with Him on the last day.