21:5 Now while some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and offerings, Jesus said,
21:6 “As for these things that you are gazing at, the days will come when not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!”
21:7 So 16 they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that these things are about to take place?”
21:8 He said, “Watch out that you are not misled. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them!
21:9 And when you hear of wars and rebellions, do not be afraid. For these things must happen first, but the end will not come at once.”
21:10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
21:11 There will be great earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven.
21:12 But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and governors because of my name.
21:13 This will be a time for you to serve as witnesses.
21:14 Therefore be resolved not to rehearse ahead of time how to make your defense.
21:15 For I will give you the words along with the wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will have some of you put to death.
21:17 You will be hated by everyone because of my name.
21:18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish.
21:19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
21:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.
21:21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Those who are inside the city must depart. Those who are out in the country must not enter it,
21:22 because these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.
21:23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people.
21:24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away as captives among all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
21:25 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves.
21:26 People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
21:27 Then they will see the Son of Man arriving in a cloud with power and great glory.
21:28 But when these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE
Faith is never a private matter
Thursday, 28 November 2013
... the Pope continued, “the Church turns our thoughts to the end of this world, since it will come to and end, for the world as we know it is passing away”. The Gospel tells us that “all these things will occur”, but, he asked, how long must we wait? In St Luke (cf 21:20-28) we hear: “until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”. For, he said, “even the pagans have a fullness of time … they have a kairós, the final triumph: the destruction of Jerusalem”. In the Gospel of St Luke we read: “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Lk 21:25-26).
“It is a calamity,” the Pope said. “However, when Jesus speaks of this calamity in another passage, he tells us that it will be a profanation of the temple, a profanation of the faith, of the people. It will be an abomination. It will be the abomination of desolation (Dan 9:27). What does this mean? It will appear to be the triumph of the prince of this world, the defeat of God. It will seem, in that final moment of calamity, as though he has taken over the world” and has become “master of the world”.
Pope Francis then explained how “this battle between the living God and the prince of this world” can also be traced out in the first Reading from the Book of Daniel (6:12-28). Essentially, he said, “Daniel is condemned only for worshipping, for worshipping God. And the abomination of desolation is called prohibition against worship”.
The Pope then explained, “in that time one could not speak about religion: it was a private matter”. Religious symbols were removed and taken down, and the people had to obey the orders that came from “worldly powers”. The worship of God was forbidden. This was “the kairós of this pagan attitude”. But “when this time is fulfilled, then He will come”, as we read in the Gospel, “then they will see the Son of man coming in the cloud with power and great glory”.
The word of God reminds us, he said, how “Christians that suffer through times of persecution, through times when worship is prohibited, are a prophetic sign of what will happen to everyone”. However, precisely in moments such as these, when the times of the pagans are being fulfilled, “raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near”.
Yet we should not be afraid, he said. “God asks us for faithfulness and patience. Faithfulness like that of Daniel, who was faithful to his God and who worshipped him to the end. And patience, for every hair on your head is counted, as the Lord has promised”.
Pope Francis concluded by inviting those present to reflect on “this general apostasy called the prohibition of worship”, and to ask themselves: “Do I worship God? Do I adore Jesus Christ the Lord? Or do I do so by halves and play games with the prince of this world? Worshipping to the very end with trust and fidelity is the grace we should ask”.
11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Seeing that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
11:14 if somehow I could provoke my people to jealousy and save some of them.
11:15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
11:16 If the first portion of the dough offered is holy, then the whole batch is holy, and if the root is holy, so too are the branches.
11:17 Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in the richness of the olive root,
11:18 do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
11:19 Then you will say, “The branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.”
11:20 Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear!
11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you.
11:22 Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
11:23 And even they – if they do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
11:24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?
11:25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited:
A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
11:26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion;
he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.
11:27 And this is my covenant with them,
when I take away their sins."
11:28 In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers.
11:29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
11:30 Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience,
11:31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy.
11:32 For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all.
11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!
11:34 For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?
11:35 Or who has first given to God,
that God needs to repay him?
11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.