Lord Jesus, thank you for this special
time I have with you. It's one of the few calm moments of the day. Your presence reassures me that I
don't have to endure the trials of the day alone. You are my strength and my peace. I wish to abide
in your love.
Jesus, help me to keep hoping despite the crises in
1. Temple of Doom:
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 warns 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?
2. Be Not Deceived:
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?
3. Do Not Be Terrified:
Tsunamis, floods, terrorist attacks,
wars, abortion, euthanasia -- is the world a nicer place today than in Jesus' 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 in the end. "Good, not evil,
has the last word," Pope John Paul II told the general audience of Oct. 17, 2001, "God triumphs over
the hostile powers, even when they seem great and invincible."
Lord, I know in my mind that you will win in the end.
If only my heart would
believe that, too! Grant me
this grace. Grant that my life will show that kind of
at every moment.
I will make a small sacrifice or offer up a
special prayer for someone suffering today.