The End Times

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

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.
(Luke 21:6)

Life is but a brief sojourn on earth
That no wealth or power can prolong;
Only God can see our end from birth,
And the final place where we belong.

As some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with precious stones and votive offerings, Jesus 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.” (Luke 21: 5-11)

Reflection

As the prophet Daniel predicted to King Nebuchadnezzar about his dream, (first reading), nothing lasts long on earth (Dn.2:44b). Not the most powerful kingdom, not the strongest temple, not even the greatest religion. Only the Word of God and His kingdom will last until the end of time. The words that our Lord spoke were strange to the ears of His generation – but only because they were meant for all future generations of mankind to profit by. The irony is, they had the Savior in their midst, but they could not comprehend His words of salvation, while we– thousands of years later—can clearly see that Jesus Christ is our eternal salvation. The Jews in His time could not accept His teaching – they had their temple, massive and magnificent, upon which they could put their faith. But just as Jesus had predicted, their great temple was totally destroyed, and the Jewish nation dispersed when “nations (rose) against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (Lk.21:10)

Today’s Gospel of Luke speaks about the coming apocalypse. We must believe these Holy Words of Scriptures because they are the Word of God Himself. History bears out the fact that all of the predictions of Jesus happened to the Jewish nation, including the destruction of their great temple (which they believed was imperishable). But our lord was not merely talking about the destiny of the Jewish nation. He was also warning us about His second coming. Already the signs of the coming “end times” have started. Powerful earthquakes, (as what happened in Bohol and Cebu) super typhoons (like Haiyan and Katrina), famine (in Africa and even in the Visayas), and volcanic eruptions (Indonesia) have been happening throughout the world. And the most terrifying of all, the “pestilences”, like the one predicted by an Indian seer that would spread throughout the country and in many parts of the world. Then will come the false prophets: “… many will come in My name, saying ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’” Indeed, many have been deceived (Lk.21:8) by these “sons of God”.

While many are led astray by false prophets, others in our Church still do not take these dire warnings seriously, and continue living in complacency or sinful ways. Although we take comfort in the words of our Lord, “do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once,” we still need to reform our life, if we have not yet done so, because it can suddenly be taken away at any time by that “thief in the night”. Life is just so short.

We thank You, Father for Your Word that has made us steadfast in following Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Grant us the grace to persevere amidst the chaos and deceptions of the world. Amen.

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