The Gospel opens with a scene in the Temple. People were talking about how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings. It was a beautiful place. Jesus remarks how one day it will be destroyed, not one stone will be left upon a stone. The temporary nature of material things is emphasised to encourage us, not to frighten us. The message is to be ready, not to be afraid. The material things will all fade away. But we will all live forever.
Many will come using my name and saying “I am he” and “the time is at hand”. Isn’t that true!!! Remember the year 2000 and all the predictions about the end of the world!!!!! Jesus says to us: “Do not join them”. What great advice. Just prepare by being ready. Remember when they asked St Francis what he would do if he only had five minutes to prepare for death. He said he would continue in the garden!! What trust! What perseverance!!
The lesson is: The beautiful buildings like the Temple and the Cathedrals are not the Church. We are the Church. No matter what is in store for the world or the church or for us, it will be OK. Not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your life!!
Next week is the Last Sunday of the Year. The story of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke comes to an end.