The End of Time

The Destruction of the Temple

My dear friends, today’s Gospel presents an interesting discussion about the temple of Jerusalem which was the pride of the Jews at the time of Jesus. They admired its magnificence especially the decorations which were of fine stonework of golden jewels and votive offerings. The Jews believed that it would last until the end of the world. But to their utmost dismay, Jesus admiring the temple with them prophesied its destruction saying: ‘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’ (Luke 21:6). They were surprised to hear that from him. And looking steadily at Him, they wondered when that would happen. But Jesus’ answer was directed more to the end of time than the actual destruction of the temple which occurred later, after many years. He warned them not to look for signs that would indicate the exact timing of the end but to trust in God.

Warning over Deception

In their wonder over the destruction of the temple and the end of time, Jesus had to warn them about nefarious people who would come to impersonate Him for their own popularity, fame, power, and personal enrichment. All this at the expense of the gullible. He was very clear when he said: ‘take care not to be deceived… because many will come using my name and saying, ‘I am he’ and ‘the time is near at hand. Refuse to join them’ (Luke 21:8). He encouraged them not to be frightened when they hear of wars and revolution, for they must take place but may not signal the end. He predicts that nations would fight against each other and there would be great earthquakes and plagues and famines, including fearful sights and great signs from heaven, yet the end would not come. All these have happened in our own time, but the end has not yet come and many who have not listened to Christ’s warning have been disappointed. That is not all, a lot of people are still falling prey to deceptive lures even today. We need to be careful and take Christ’s warning to heart.

The End of Time

The end of time is God’s secret. Only God knows when it will be. No one else knows; not even the angels nor the Son of Man. Jesus had unquestionably left that in the hands of his Father. We should, therefore, be careful over the different predictions from the nooks and crannies of the world by the so-called prophets and visionaries of the new era who claim that God had revealed the end to them. Jesus is the fullness of God’s revelation and not the present-day seers. Christ had earlier warned us not to listen to them nor join them. The end is only known to God alone. The attitude of a Christian over the end, therefore, should not be that of fear and anxiety but of love and trust in God, the Creator. We can do nothing to avoid death or the end when God wills it. We can avoid an unprepared death by being ready at all times and by living every day of our lives as if it were the last day in the state of grace and friendship with God so that whenever he comes, we would be in a better position to meet Him.

[Readings: Dn 2:31-45; Lk 21:5-11]

Fr. Cyriacus Uzochukwu

Rev Fr Cyriacus Uzochukwu is a priest of the Catholic diocese of Orlu, a former editor of The Forum Newspaper of the diocese and currently the associate pastor of Sacred Heart Church Exeter, Devon, UK.

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