A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 21:20-28
Jesus said to his disciples: ''When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realize that it will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of retribution when all that scripture says must be fulfilled.
Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come! 'For great misery will descend on the land and retribution on this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every gentile country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the gentiles until their time is complete.
'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the turmoil of the ocean and its waves; men fainting away with terror and fear at what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
'When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.'
REFLECTION: 'When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.'
Jesus warned us about the destruction of Jerusalem and the judgment at the end of the world. We are warned about many things--- if you don't lose weight you will develop diabetes, if you don't quit smoking you will get lung cancer, if you use drugs you will be a drug addict, if you drink too much alcohol you will get cirrhosis and encephalopathy and if you don't take your medicines you might get a heart attack or stroke. But we don't pay attention . These consequences are too far in the future for us to worry. We continue to pursue the life we want.
We live everyday without thinking much about how we are living, or what we are doing with our lives or if the things that interest us are really worth trying to obtain. We get used to being lazy, we get used to sinning and we get used to putting us first and God last. But isn't God saying--don't do any of those things --see what happened to Jerusalem because of their indifference to Jesus and his teachings? But many, like Jerusalem, will not listen, no matter how many times God allows us to read the last page of our book of life. .
The greatest gift we have is the redemption purchased for us by the blood of Christ. It would be sufficient to make us holy and to make us want to sing in the chorus rafters, prayers of alleluia. But why is this not the case? He promised us heaven and that when it was time for the second coming, he would never leave us alone. He promised us eternity with him. Our corrupt bodies would be like his glorious body and we would no longer have diabetes, heart disease, cancers, osteoporosis, strokes, heart problems., alzheimers, frailty etc.
God has given us a road map to follow and there will be certain signs letting us know that we are getting closer to the end of time. For those who are not prepared, we will be like the virgins scrambling for the oil -- our faith, our virtues, and our good deeds will not be found when we hear and see the second coming of Jesus. What panic, what grief!!!
But for those who listened, prayed and hastened to be prepared they will be joyful and full of wonder. We are ready because we believe that Jesus holds us in the palm of his hand and he will not let go of us. We are on the road to the heavenly mass !! The Son of Man will come in great glory and those ready "will stand erect, hold our heads high, because our liberation is near at hand". Amen
Pray for our priests who want to help us get to heaven.