Signs of the End Times

Luke 21: 5-11
Dn 2:31-45 / Dn 3:57-61

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
(Luke 21: 10-11)

No stone upon a stone or throne
Can last on earth in God’s design,
Take heed, the Word of God alone
Will stand until the end of time.

People were speaking about how the temple was adorned with precious stones and votive offerings when He said, “As for these things which you see, the days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And they asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?” And he said, “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once.” 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 pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.” (Lk. 21: 5-11)

Reflection

Most of the predictions that Jesus made in today’s Gospel have already taken place in this decade. The world has seen two great earthquakes in the past few years: the October 8, 2005 temblor in Pakistan, where more than 70,000 people perished, and the earthquake in the west coast of Northern Sumatra in December 26, 2004, which caused a giant tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 280,000 people in several countries along the coast of East Asia. Wars have been fought by Israel against some of its Arab neighbors, and the United States invaded Iraq more than four years ago. Famines have ravaged countries in the continent of Africa, and pestilences like AIDS, SARS, and the bird flu virus continue to plague several countries in Asia and Africa. Only the “terrors and great signs from heaven” have not yet occurred, and unless the world is soon transformed from its evil ways, this last could be the worst kind of cataclysm that will hit the earth from the skies. Millions of years ago, the world was transformed when a giant meteor collided with our planet. Most of the animal species like the dinosaurs disappeared, and it took several millenia before the earth became habitable again.

Our Lord Jesus was not merely talking about the destruction of the Jewish temple. He was also warning us about His second coming. The signs of the “end times” have started. And, as He predicted, “…many will come in My name, saying ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’” And indeed, a great number have been deceived. (Lk.21:8) It puzzles me no end to watch on tv how thousands of people are mesmerized by a womanizer, who flaunts his wealth which comes from their tithes as casually as he quotes verses from the Bible.

While many are led astray by these false prophets, others in the true Church still do not take these dire warnings seriously, and continue in their complacency. Sadly, only a few take the Word of God to heart, and strive to sanctify their lives.

Help us, Father, to discern Your Word, and make us steadfast in following Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Grant us the grace to persevere against the chaos and deceptions of this world. Amen.

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