For the Jews, the Temple in Jerusalem was the center of religious and cultural life. It contained the Holy of Holies, the sanctuary that once housed the Ark of the Covenant. The people were proud of the Temple, but Jesus warms them that the day will arrive when it will be destroyed ( as indeed it was,in A.D.70 ). Yet the end of the Temple will not be the end of religion. Jesus himself will remain with us, as he does to this day, in the Eucharist. Likewise, no matter what else passes away- our house, our office, our school – Christ remains. Does that belief fill me with confidence?
Jesus doesn’t directly answer the question about when the Temple will be destroyed. Rather, he tries to get his listeners to focus on what is really important: their faith. Our Lord warns them not to listen to the wrong people. Throughout the course of a normal day, to whom do we listen? Whose voices are on our radios, our TV sets? Who really has our ear day – by – day? Worldly talk-show hosts? The news media’s “instant experts”? MTV gurus? Jesus cautions us that the people we listen to might affect the quality of our lives – and the quality of our eternity. Do I judge carefully, then the voices I listen to?
Do Not Be Terrified: Tsunamis, floods, terrorist attacks, wars, abortion, euthanasia – is the world a nicer place today than in Jesus’s time? Our Lord was no stranger to bad news. He knew about the tower in Siloam that killed 18 people ( see Luke 13:4 )- and he knew what awaited him on Good Friday. Yet he always remained hopeful and encouraged the best in people. As his followers, we too must be witnesses to hope. We need to brighten the lives of those around us. More importantly we need to remind others that God will win the end. “ Good, not evil, has the last word”, Pope John Paul II told the general audience of October 17,2001, “ God triumphs over the hostile powers, even they seem great and invincible.”
Fr Maroun El Kazzi