A city can be quite dazzling to a newcomer. Lights, buildings, shopping centers, the list is endless of what catches the eyes of a new person hitting a city for the first time. One can imagine how awestruck the disciples were as they wandered round the Temple of Herod. Herod’s Temple known for its extravagance in beauty, architecture and adornments- it was one of Herod’s main building projects. Jesus turns their attention to the fact that the beauty they see will one day be no more. As prophet, he is speaking of the destruction of the temple and the city itself, Jerusalem. Forty years after his death this was fulfilled. The destruction of the temple and city was a great blow to the people of Israel.
Jesus connects the prophecy of the destruction of the temple with the end of the world. The things that will happen to Jerusalem will be the prelude to the end of the world. The world as we know it will be destroyed. Some people think the end of the world is near, the rate the catastrophes are happening nowadays! Luke gives his version of the eschatological discourse. It will be a dramatic sight for all. All will know the end is nigh, but Jesus reminds his followers to not be afraid, to trust in him.
I once heard of a nervous lector at the end of the first reading stated triumphantly, Brothers and Sisters; this is the end of the world! Everyone was aghast as they realized she meant Brothers and sisters; this is the word of the Lord! The language that we hear of the end times is weird indeed. It is hard to put our heads around it because it seems so otherworldly. Earthquakes and famine will occur, terror and signs in the sky will be appearing, but there is no cause for alarm. Many will say, “I am he”, referring to the anti Christ. Many will say the time is at hand, but even Jesus mentioned he did not know the hour or day. The important thing is to be watchful and ready at hand for the coming of the end of the world.

How will you spend your last day on earth?

Lord, prepare my heart for the coming of your Son. Amen