Just last week, I was talking with one of my previous staff based in Davao. She was sharing about the latest earthquake and was describing her fears and anxieties. At the time when the magnitude 6.4 quake shook the earth, she described what happened as the earth moved, how they could hear the sound of the structures swaying, the trees rustling and sounds from people shouting. She thought it was the “end of the world.” She described how colleagues had to abandon their condominium units for safer places. They were practically sleepless at night trying to be sensitive if ever the next one happens.
As we are approaching the end of the
Liturgical Year, the latest readings are mostly focused on the “End of Days”.
In today’s Sunday Gospel (Lk. 21: 5-19), Jesus said, “All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.”
Even in those times more than 2,000 years ago, the disciples were already forewarned about what it will be in the end. The Lord have to console them, but more importantly preparing them for what is more important: how they will be persecuted in His name. He admonished them that suffering in the hands of men, kings and governors, will happen before the end comes. They will be interrogated but the Lord instructed them not to prepare their defense beforehand, for
“I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
What the Lord told His closest friends applies to us as well. We have to look beyond all these events in order not to get distracted from our missions. These are all temporal and passing. While these happenings are more than enough to scare us, let us take the Lord’s promise that for as long as we believe and persevere, we will survive these tests and there will be justice! (First Reading Mal. 3: 19-20a). By His amazing grace we will be blessed with Eternal Life someday.
Today let us continue praying for peace, freedom from persecution, and absence of fear. May we be strengthened with the thought that the Lord will bring us through in the end of days.
“Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Lk. 21: 28)