I have a melancholic temperament so this time of the liturgical year is my favorite. The readings are all about the end. They speak to us of the final act and the return of Our Lord. Not only do I like the readings because they are filled with a WCSS's dreams but it helps me get my focus back to living every moment as if it were my last.
At the beginning of today's Gospel folks are admiring the Temple. From all historic accounts it really was something to be admired. Jesus here shows us His melancholic side and says, "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." This must have been a shock to His hearers. It would be like me saying the same thing about a major city. In fact, it must have been such a shock that it was one of the things that stuck with them, because they all high-tailed it out of town when Rome destroyed the city as He had predicted.
However, I think the Gospel message goes deeper than a prophecy and deeper than a great real estate tip. You and I can look up from our computer screen right now and basically repeat the words of Christ, "all that I see here - the days will come when it will all be gone." This will be the case for either one of two reasons: our personal death or the return of Christ. Either option leads us to a face to face encounter with the Almighty. So our thought process should probably be one of working towards detachment. If option #1 arises, I hope I'm not on my death bed dreading the loss of all my worldly goods. If it's option #2, I hope that I'm not clinging to my ipod while the trumpet blasts are going. You and I must be ready at a moments notice to meet the Lord. This is something to keep in mind especially if we have unrepented sin upon our souls!
As for the rest of the Gospel, again we have two choices. We can either live in fear of the end and constantly dread its beginning or we can live as though the end is very near, which it is, and not be concerned by "wars and rumors of wars" for those too will pass away.
The prayer God always answers.
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