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.
Toward the end of my first year as a Jesuit novice, I was sent out on my poverty pilgrimage: a thirty-six day journey around the country with empty pockets, learning to count on the generosity of others to keep me fed and moving along. I was advised to “travel light” to learn greater dependence on God whatever I might encounter along the way. Fearful at first, I quickly found that traveling light made it a lot easier to turn to God with my needs as they came up.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus doesn’t preach that the future will be free from upsetting surprises, but he does reassure his audience not to be led by their fears. When it feels like the earth opens beneath us with a scary diagnosis, or we weather a famine of sadness or despair, or feel plagued by loneliness or depression, a close friendship with the Lord is our lifeline in times of trial.
—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the West Province currently in Regency in the Advancement Office at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.
Take my heart, O Lord, take my hopes and dreams.
Take my mind with all its plans and schemes.
Give me nothing more than your love and grace.
These alone, O God, are enough for me.
—From These Alone Are Enough by Dan Schutte, based on the Suscipe of St. Ignatius Loyola, © 2004, published by OCPPlease share the Good Word with your friends!