Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 504. Tue of 34 week. Daniel 2:31-45. Daniel
3:57-61. Luke 21:5-11.
Daniel interprets a dream of Nebuchanezzar showing the rise and fall of
five great kingdoms. They are symbolized by parts of a gigantic statue
made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and a mixture of iron and clay (divided
kingdom). All of these different components are toppled by a gigantic rock
that rolls against the statue and reduces it to rubble which the wind
chases to the four corners of the earth like chaff. Jesus predicts the fall
and destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by another great power not
included in Daniel’s interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. Jesus
predicts rumors of wars, earthquakes, and calamities of nature upon the
earth but the end has not yet come. He also predicts some will pretend to
be the messiah ushering in the last times and victory for Israel.
Jesus’ words come true after forty years and we are reading of it in the
Gospels chosen for these last days of the liturgical year. On Sunday the
Church celebrated the feast of Jesus King of all creation as part of our
thinking along the same lines as Daniel and Jesus. The Evangelists had the
advantage of actually knowing about the historical even of the destruction
of Jerusalem and the desecration of the temple by the Romans in 70 A.D. We
believe that Jesus did know about this in carefully reading the signs of
his times he foresaw this. The evangelists confirm what he said about it
two generations before it happened. Some scholars would say that all this
is predicting something after the event actually happened since it coming
from the time of the evangelists. Either way, the fact stands, Jerusalem
was destroyed in 70 A.D. and the temple has never been rebuilt.
We are reminded that the Catholic Church has always preached and wrote
against millenarianism even though many of its members fall short of
listening to that prudent advice. Every prediction has failed and yet
people continue to think the end is near. This becomes more intense once we
approach a thousand years in whatever calendar people find that speaks of
such and end of time. It is futile for Jesus himself has told us that only
God knows that. Even he states that the Son of Man does not know when it
will come! Nor will the end come in 2012!
As people of faith we are to live out our lives in the present by making
each day, hour, and moment a sacred experience of time while living it to
its fullest. Certainly we have learned much from the past and it is wise
to plan for the future but with our two feet firmly fixed on the earth
within the time in which we now live. It is this which makes us realize the
kingdom of God is already here within in us but not yet in its fullness
when Christ will come again at the Parousia or End-Time. Amen.