Signs of the Coming Apocalypse


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

They asked, “Teacher, when will these things happen?”
(Luke 21:7)


No stone upon a stone or throne
Can last on earth in God’s design,
Have faith upon God’s Word alone,
‘Twill stand until the end of time.

Some of the disciples were speaking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and votive offerings to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” They asked, “Teacher, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

Then He said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:5-11)

Reflection

The message that the first reading from Daniel, and today’s Gospel imparts is: Nothing lasts forever on this earth. Not the most powerful kingdom, not the strongest temple, not even the greatest religion. Only the Word of God lasts until the end of time. The words that our Lord spoke were strange to the ears of His generation – but only because they were not meant only for them, but for all future generations 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 see clearly that Jesus Christ is the only hope of our eternal salvation.

Today’s Gospel of Luke and the First Reading (Daniel 2:31-45) also continue to speak about the coming apocalypse. We believe in these Holy Words of Scriptures because they are the Word of God Himself. Jesus’ prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction in AD 70 prefigures the coming “end times”. There are signs that it has already begun, but many are still taking these dire warnings for granted, mindlessly continuing in their worldly ways. God’s Word bears no relevance for them.

We are fortunate who take the Word of God to heart, because He shows us how He continuously sanctifies our days. For instance, this was demonstrated in the last “Catchfire” charismatic rally in celebration of the feast of Christ the King. Attended by almost two thousand members of four Catholic communities, the presence of the Holy Spirit was so perceptible that many were driven to tears. Tears of joy, that is, moved by God’s love for all who attended, praising our King as one people. Like the responsorial psalm in today’s reading, (“All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever” – Dn.3:61), the venue of the prayer rally reverberated with joyful singing and praising. The main speaker of the rally, however, urged us not to be content to remain in God’s embrace, but to go out and spread the fire of the Spirit to “the wounded world outside”: the uncommitted, the complacent, and the unbelievers. In this spiritual warfare, we have to be bold soldiers of Christ to save souls for His kingdom.

We praise and thank You, Father God, for constantly keeping us aware of the coming “days of reckoning”, and our responsibility as members of Your kingdom to spread the Gospel to those who are still “of this world.” Grant us the courage and wisdom to be active in our chosen mission field, ever mindful in following Your will. Amen.

Leave a Reply