Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Destruction of the temple + the end = hope: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

(Listen to this homily here).

            We’re ending the liturgical year on a bang!  Both of our readings referred to destruction and the end of an era.
            The disciples were exclaiming the grandeur of the temple.  Jesus’ response: “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
            This would have been devastating for the Jewish mind to hear.  The temple was the center of everything Jewish—worship, sacrifice, Law, faith and politics.  To think that this, their very lifeblood, would be destroyed would have been a terrifying thought.
            The book of Revelation, in its cryptic apocalyptic language, refers to the end.  Angels were to harvest with sickles the earth and its vintage will be thrown “into the great wine press of God’s fury.”
            It is natural, even at times necessary, to have a healthy fear of the end.  Death, judgment, hell and the cessation of the cosmos are all realities.
            Yet consider again the temple.  For those who followed Jesus Christ faithfully, the destruction of this building was not the end of the story.  Through fidelity to Christ his disciples entered into a whole new way of living—the Christian faith.  They could rejoice again in transitioning into a brand new relationship with God!
            So, too, whenever we consider death and the end times.  While there will be judgment and destruction in both, those of us who are faithful will enjoy an infinitely fuller relationship with God.  We can live with great hope that whatever happens will only serve to transition us into a more complete state of being.
            Just as Jesus was faithful to the people he prophesied to regarding the temple, so too he will be faithful to us as we pass from this life to the next.

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