November 26, 2019
Lk 21: 5-11
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.”
Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The human Jesus
I imagined Jesus gazing at the Temple, saying these words that we find in the Gospel of Luke, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” In these words of Scripture we find an allusion to the eventful destruction of the Temple by the Romans in the latter half of the first century.
More importantly, in these words we encounter a Jesus who might not be condemning the extravagance of the Temple but a Jesus who was probably sad at its eventual demise. The Temple was a part of his human memory: as a child he allowed himself to wander and be lost in its walls and during his years of ministry he healed and taught those gathered in its sacred space.
The invitation for us today might be to sit with a Jesus who feels the range of human emotions, even that of sadness and lost.
—Minh Le, SJ, is a Jesuit of the Midwest Province teaching and coaching at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.
Lord Jesus, you know our joys and sadnesses because you, too, experienced all of our human emotions. May we remember to turn to you no matter what we are feeling, confident that you know the longings of our hearts. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
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