Lk 21, 5-11
When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, he said. All these things you are staring at now — the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another; everything will be destroyed. And they put to him this question, ‘Master,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that it is about to take place?’ But he said, ‘Take care not to be deceived,
because many will come using my name and saying, “I am the one” and “The time is near at hand.” Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be terrified, for this is something that must happen first, but the end will not come at once.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines in various places; there will be terrifying events and great signs from heaven.
It is essential that the Church reminds us again and again of the end of times. We live towards the Second Coming of the Lord. Although no one knows time and hour (cf. Mt 24,36), it is certain that the hour will come, just as the hour of death will surely come upon us.
Sacred Scripture also clearly teaches us in many places that there is not simply a natural development for the better, however much speculation there may be about it. We also experience this through human history. Certainly, we have made some progress, especially in the external design of life. Scientific findings serve for a better existence. But when we look at, for example, the barbarity of abortion, the rampant euthanasia, sexual irritations and much more, we have to state soberly that man does not simply change for the better in a natural process. Only under the influence of grace can he overcome those destructive depths that hold him captive.
In this perspective, it is foolish to place ones hope in people; on political systems, human ideas, on a self-developing positive process of histories and similar constructs of thoughts.
Hope we can have because of the goodness and love of God, which does not rest to call us home to His kingdom. Hope, because divine love is not vacillating as with us human beings, because God abides by His promises, and the love of the Father does not capitulate before our distance from God and looks tirelessly for us.
It is this hope in the unchanging goodness of God that, as Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel, should be the reason not to be frightened because of the announced terrible events. The idea that the magnificent temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed must have been something for the disciples that they could hardly comprehend: wars, famines, epidemics, earthquakes, terrible things the Lord proclaims. False prophets will confuse people and great signs will appear in the sky.
The Lord and with him the Scriptures do not conceal from us the catastrophes that are coming upon us. The Second Coming of the Lord is preceded by terrible events. If we do not close our eyes, we will know how much has already happened from what has been announced here. All that the Lord presents to us in today’s Gospel has already happened, and many things may still lie before us.
So we cannot proclaim a world that will develop into a harmonious and peaceful world through the efforts of the people. The Scriptures and the course of history teach us something else. It is right to work to make our world better with more justice, but it is wrong to expect this primarily through the actions of man. Always wanting to see the good shifts is as wrong as always only to discover evil!
Biblical realism must be internalized. Hope for an improvement exists when man responds to the grace of God and his heart is transformed!
True peace will only exist if people know God as He really is and accept salvation in Christ, for “peace is always in God”, as Brother Klaus from Switzerland says.
Rather, it is necessary to warn that there may be a false peace that excludes God. Efforts are also underway to involve religions in such efforts, but at the expense of the claim to truth of the Lord’s message.
Not political institutions will bring true peace! It is more necessary to warn against them than to demand obedience to these entities, because often these have an anti-Christian character. Nor would any world unity religion be able to create true peace, but would only obscure the kingdom of Christ.
So let us not be misled and let us put all hope in God. He will guide us through the horrors of the time before the return of Christ, so that they cannot paralyze us. If we hear of threatening scenarios, then we go to the Lord and by his closeness we are also safe in tribulations and know: The Lord will come, yes, come Lord Jesus!