Dire Warnings

Luke 21: 5-11
Rev 14:14-19 / Ps 96:10-13

“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 21:11)

We do not need to seek for signs,
The Word of God has said it all. . .
Just trust in God that His designs
Are meant for those who heed His call.

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

In the first reading (Revelation), we read about the visions of St. John: “… Another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, ‘Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested (Rev.14:15-16).

St. Luke’s Gospel imparts a similar message. When our Lord gave His Apocalyptic discourse, He was making a prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem fifty or so years into the future. At that time, the Jews believed nothing could destroy their temple, or their Judaic tradition. But at the time when St. Luke wrote his Gospel, the early Christians must have realized that their temple was as temporal as their old Jewish traditions, and that only the words of Jesus would last until the end of time. The words that our Lord spoke were in fact not meant for His generation, but for all future Christians to profit by. Thousands of years later, we can see why the Word of God in Jesus Christ is so essential for our eternal salvation.

All true Christians believe the veracity of Scriptures because they are the Word of God Himself. History bears out the fact that all the predictions of Jesus happened to the Jewish nation and their great temple (once believed was imperishable). But our Lord was not merely talking about the destruction of the old Jewish nation. He was also warning us about His second coming. This apocalyptic discourse is found in the book of Revelation, which speaks about the coming Judgment Day. When the disciples asked Jesus about signs of the coming “end times”, He told them about powerful earthquakes, wars, famines, and plagues that would happen throughout the world. And just as He predicted, (“many will come in My name, saying ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come’”) many have been led astray by false prophets. Others do not take these dire warnings seriously, and maintain their sinful lifestyle. Sadly, as our Lord predicted, only a few are blessed to take the Word of God to heart, “For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

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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