Tuesday of the 34th Week of the Year

Luke 21:5-11

The Signs of the End



In the film “Armaggedon,” we are told about a giant asteroid heading directly towards earth. Unless stopped, the asteroid will hit the earth and will mean the end of the world. A similar story is told in the movie “Deep Impact.” Unless stopped, the fall of the comet will have a tremendous impact of unknown proportions. It will also mean the end of the world. Stories about the end of the world continue to fascinate the people, just like the time of Jesus.

In the gospel today, Jesus tells us about the end of time. In describing its signs the Lord is telling us some important points. First, welcome the event calmly. Here, he is warning us to be on guard against false prophets that will only bring panic and fear in us. Second, he encourages us to bring hope into the world and to keep the faith alive in midst of trials. Third, he is reminding us that everything in this world has an end and that even our lives will come to an end.

Am I ready to face the Lord at the end of my life? When I face the Lord, what can I tell him about the life I have lived or what will the Lord tell me about the kind of life I have lived? (Fr. Jose Mateo, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


….The church liturgical calendar is about to end. Soon a new church year will begin, Advent. At the end of the church annual calendar many of the bible readings pertain to the end of the world. Jesus makes a picturesque description of the end, in biblical language, apocalyptic – the great battle between good and evil. The war will include the whole universe, the sun and moon, the stars in heaven, light and darkness – frightening images that defy imagination. The Jews who were listening to Him must have felt like the twin that received the box of manure on his birthday. Were it not for the gift of optimism the twin might have looked for the nearest river to drown himself.

To those who hang on to Him, Jesus offers reason for optimism. “Do not be frightened…,” He warns. Those who remain honest in a world where dishonesty is S.O.P., those who hang on to the truth, those who remain faithful to the Lord in prayer and good works in the midst of noise traffic, lack of money for Christmas, etc., Jesus will transform into something new. Behind the “manure” we get daily, a true gift of meaningful and peaceful life awaits us. (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” Many have misinterpreted these verses. As a result, they sold everything they own, left their family and career and joined religious sects and cults specializing in the imminent fulfillment of these end-time predictions. Unfortunately, some of these cults ended up in mass suicides. Others, until now, are still waiting for this end to happen and while waiting they serve their leaders for free with the hope that at the end time they will be saved by them. A few realized the hoax and left the community.

The next time you entertain people who come knocking on your door and proclaiming this bad news, stand firm and tell them straight that only God knows when time ends. He assures us in today’s gospel, “Do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” However, these verses also serve as a wake up calls for all of us to re-align our lives to Christ’s teachings. We should not wait until these wake calls really happen before we change our lives. It might be too late. (Frt. Ross P Heruela, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


As an example of deception, Today in the Word, (July 1995, p.27) told this story that F. E. Smith was a capable lawyer with a quick wit who served as the British attorney general from 1915 until 1919. On one occasion he cross-examined a young man claiming damages for an arm injury caused by the negligence of a bus driver. “Will you please show us how high you can lift your arm now?” asked Smith. The young man gingerly raised his arm to shoulder level, his face distorted with pain.

“Thank you,” said Smith. “And now, could you show us how high you could lift it before the accident?” The young man eagerly shot his arm up above his head. He lost the case.

The church liturgical calendar will come to an end. Soon a new church year will begin and that will be, Advent. At the end of the church annual calendar many bible readings pertain to the end of time and today’s gospel passage is one of them. Jesus describes the signs of the end of time and gives two very important points. He said: “Do not be deceived” when somebody said that he is the messiah or the time has come and “do not be terrified” when wars, insurrections and others happen.

Every so often, some people/groups appear to know more than what the Bible says about the end of the world. Sometimes, these people/groups even announce actual date when the end will come. Others declare knowledge on how person can be saved from often frightening events that come with the end. Unfortunately, many believe them.

What makes people believe in these false prophets who claim that they know exact details about the end of the world? Consider these three things:

First is ignorance of the Bible. If they really know the Bible, they should know that Jesus Himself said that no one knows when the end will be. “No one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” (Matt 13:32). So how can anyone claim he/she knows better than the Son?

Second is distrust in God.  If they really trust God, even as they may have some fears about the apocalyptic details of the end times, they would not panic. Believing in false prophets is very often the result of panicking about the end of the world. Panic is the first-born of fear. Fear is the sister of distrust. Distrust is the enemy of faith in God.

Third is laziness. Some people think that by simply being counted in a group they will be spared of the trials that accompany the coming of the end. But when the end comes, it will be the end for all and the beginning of a new order for everyone. No one can run away or hide from it. Affiliation with a particular doomsday prophet/sect will not make things easy for anyone in the end. Even belonging to the Catholic Church or holding positions in it spares no o ne difficult task of remaining vigilant and prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus.

If in my preaching I tell you that I know exactly when the end of the world will be, please do not believe in me. I am lying. Know the Bible. Trust in God. Do not be lazy. (from Fr. Bobby Titco Sabbath 2008)


November 22, 2016 Tuesday

Today’s readings refer to the end times. Now and then we hear a warning about the approaching horror with a matching date, such as, May 28, 1978 or the year 2000. Needless to say it never occurred.

Time and history show varied attitudes towards the much-deplored end times. For the early Christian communities, the concept was that of a happy expectation. The believers looked forward to an immediate coming, an almost joyful feast of yearning!

But in the modern era, the world has seen it as a catastrophic smashing of planets and meteors, the unimaginable destruction of the universe.

However as I grow in my spiritual journey, I see God as a most loving Creator, who cannot ever contradict the Beauty that He is. Through the years He has given me a way to attain a fuller understanding His love for the human race.

The book of Genesis declares that everything He created is good. The book of Revelation uncovers the promise of a new heaven and a new earth. The world will be transformed into its perfection at the end of time. The more important focus should be on how much trust we give God, the source of life. In the midst of our doubts and apprehensions, we must always recall how He went to the extent of sending His Only Son to save us.

The best is yet to come as long as we live our lives toward the goal of union with His plans for each of us. We must see the world through the eyes of a love that supersedes all the darkness in and around us. Our obedience to His will makes the end times a celebration of God’s triumph over all that is evil. (Fr. Titus Mananzan, SVD | Dampalit, Malabon City Bible Diary 2016)



November 27, 2012

St. Valerian
Tuesday of the 34th Week

Rv 14:14-19
Ps 96
Lk 21:5-11

Lk 21:5-11
The Signs of the End 

5While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, [Jesus] said, 6“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.”

7Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” 8He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! 9When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” 10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”


Do not be terrified. The Gospel tells us that we are not living in a settled or permanent situation. All things are passing—the seasons, our world, our life. We are just on pilgrimage here on earth. Our final home is heaven, to be with God. However, the Gospel tells us that we should not be too preoccupied with the end of time. No use speculating the exact date of the end of the world. Only God knows.

As believers, we are told not to let fear paralyze our belief in God. When earthly turmoil and cosmic signs come, Jesus asks us to be firm in our faith. We should continue trusting. The end of time will mean the triumph of God and goodness.

Let us remember that our God is a loving God who wills the salvation of his people. As St. Teresa of Jesus urges us, “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things pass away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. He who has God finds he lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

If the thought of the world frightens us, it means that our life is not yet compatible with the life of Jesus. Now is the time to change.



CATECHISM a Day (Luke 21:6) – “All that you see here, the days will come when there’ll not be left a stone upon another stone that won’t be thrown down.”


On the threshold of his Passion Christ announced the coming destruction of this splendid building, of which there would not remain one stone upon another. By doing so, he announced a sign of the last days, which were to begin which His own Passover. But this prophecy would be distorted in its telling by false witnesses during his interrogation at the high priest’s house and would be thrown back at him as an insult when he was nailed to the cross (Fr. Iko Bajos Oct 26, 2013).


Monday, November 23, 2015

TUESDAY OF THE 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 21:5-11. UNSA MAY MOLAHUTAY SA MGA BUTANG NGA ATONG GIHUPTAN? Ang mga panagna ni Kristo kalabot sa pagkatumpag sa templo ug sa ubang katalagman magpahinumdum kanato nga ang tanang butang adunay katapusan. Ang tawo makahimo og dagko ug nindot nga mga edipisyo, apan kining tanan mangawala sa paglabay sa panahon. Bisan ang kaanyag, kusog, gahum ug bahandi adunay kinutoban. Nindot kini nga pahimangno tungod kay usahay maghunahuna kita nga kontrolado nato ang tanan ug nga kita magpabilin ning kalibotan. Sayop. Ang Ginoo lamang, uban sa Iyang gugma, ang walay utlanan. Busa, angay natong huptan ang dakong pagtoo sa Dios ug magpabilin kita sa Iyang gugma aron atong maangkon ang kinabuhing malungtaron uban Kaniya. Posted by Abet Uy



Monday, November 23, 2015

Reflection for November 24, Tuesday Saint Andrew Dũng-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs: Luke 21:5-11

Reflection: When will the end times be? Many would say that the end time is here and now. Just look at the many wars being fought in many parts of the world. Just look at the many terroristic activities happening almost everywhere. Just look at the massive hunger in third rate countries. Just look at the massive environmental catastrophes around the world.

Aren’t these all signs of the end times? These are not yet the end times for no one of us knows about it, only God knows when it would be. But it seems that the telltale signs are already in place.

However it’s not the end times yet. This is for the reason that these unfortunate events that are happening now all over the world are created by us and not by God. For example, human’s greed for power and natural resources creates wars in many parts of the world. Our abuse of the environment creates natural disasters.

Terroristic activities that are happening everywhere are due to human’s misguided devotion to his/her creed. So who is creating these end times scenarios? It’s not God but us, by our misguided adherence to this world we actually are hastening the world’s end times. – Marino J. Dasmarinas



Friday, November 18, 2016

Reflection for Tuesday November 22, Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr; Luke 21:5-11

Are you afraid of the end times?

Jesus mentions destruction of all the beautiful structures that we see. Everything including beautiful places of worship will be destroyed. This scenario is somewhat like the end times already. But He also tells us do not be terrified (Luke 21:9), so what would we do? Should we allow the signs of the end times to terrify us? Or we hold on to Jesus who tells us, “Do not be terrified.” Of course we hold-on to what Jesus tells us.

Earthquakes and calamities with massive proportion are happening wars in different parts of the world are also raging. But let us take this calmly for this is bound to happen and let us not attribute these disastrous events to God as some would do. God doesn’t want this to happen to us otherwise if he wanted us destroyed God would have not sent Jesus to walk on this earth and die for us on the cross.

There are wars in different parts of the world because we humans create it. This is brought about by our greed for power and resources. The same is happening with our abuse of our environment.

There are very destructive typhoons/hurricanes because of human’s unrelenting abuse of its environment also. And what are the results? Massive destruction of lives and properties which is actually preventable if we have compassion for our environment.

In the midst of these bleak signs of the times let us not forget to always call on Jesus for He alone can give us peace of mind. – Marino J. Dasmarinas



GOD’S BALL OF WRATH? – “There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues…” – Luke 21:11

The Philippines will remember 2013 for the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that flattened Bohol and the strongest ever recorded typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda”) that ravaged Central Philippines. In other parts of the world, the Midwest US and Ohio Valley were hit by a tornado, Indonesia had a violent volcanic eruption, while the desert kingdom of Riyadh experienced severe flooding.

What is happening to the world? Is the end near? Environmentalists point to climate change. But doomsayers claim these  events are God’s way of punishing a world gone astray – with war, corruption and widespread acceptance of abortion.

Nobody knows the time and day of God’s second coming. It will happen according to His time. Instead of ranting about shortcomings, questioning God for the tragedies, and predicting the end of the world, let us channel our energies to doing these things: Let us recognize the strong spirit of humanity and the best of mankind that springs after each tragedy. Let us examine our inner selves about our contributions in making the world a better place, and finally, in preparing ourselves for death and His judgment.Marie Franco (mariefranco_pie@yahoo.com)

Reflection: Do you use the life you were given only to serve yourself or do you responsibly use it to serve God and others?

Spare us, O Lord, from the tragedies in life. And as I am spared, grant me the conscience to uplift those who experience tragedies and trials in life.



YOU GOTTA BELIEVE – Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” – Luke 21:7

When mentoring members of the Truly Rich Club, our stock market guru Edward Lee is often faced with a question, “What’s the signal that tells me it’s the right time to enter the stock market (and be assured of a profit)?” Edward would reply, “If only I knew, I’d be so rich by this time.” Rather than looking for signs to enter the market, his sound advice is to believe that stocks outperform all asset classes over the long term (10 to 15 years).

This advice is truer when it comes to our faith and heaven. After all, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Believing is a prerequisite to receiving God’s grace and entering His kingdom.

I recently attended a Mass where our parish priest talked about the “end times.” He did a social experiment by asking the parishioners who wanted to go to heaven. All the parishioners raised their hands. The priest asked a second question. “Who wants to go to heaven now?” Only a few raised their hands. Confidently, I was one of them.

Preparation on earth for eternal life leads to celebration with God the Father in heaven. Dean Pax Lapid (happyretiree40@gmail.com)

Reflection: Is your faith strong enough to make you confident in meeting the Lord anytime?

Father God, make and mold me to be ready to meet You face to face in Your time.



November 24, 2015

Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time

Dn 2: 31-45, Lk 21:5-9

Holy Temple of God

In today’s Gospel passage we find Jesus and his disciples standing in front of the Jerusalem temple. Some of his disciples remarked about the beauty of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. Looking at the majestic and magnificent structure Jesus utters a prophecy: “The time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” Indeed it was fulfilled when Romans finally attacked it and destroyed it completely. Even now every devout Jew weeps and wails before the foundation stones left at the site of the old temple. It is a saddening sight when we visit Jerusalem today.

The Jerusalem temple was the icon of Jewish pride and the seat of Jewish religious identity. It not only served as a place of worship, but it was the seat of Jewish power at the time of Jesus. It was the most revered place in the eyes of a Jew. It was where the presence of Yahweh dwelt among His people. Every Jew wherever he would be would turn towards it in prayer. Every Jew was supposed to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem because it was the city of God and contained the Temple – the seat of God. The great names of Jewish history, David, Solomon and many of the great prophets were associated with it. Destruction of Jerusalem temple meant the destruction of everything that a devout Jew considered great and proud.

In this context the prophecy made by Jesus was a terrible one. It was not some thing that a devout Jew could digest easily. Still Jesus spoke the almost blasphemous words about the temple of God. What made him say so? This brings to our mind the difference in how God looks at it and how man looks at it. The disciples looked at the grand and impressive structure and they were wonder struck at the grandeur of it. The finest marble, the best wood, the great carvings and the most beautiful decorations dedicated to God made it one of the best religious structures ever built. King Solomon brought in the best things available at his time from around the world for its construction.

The human eyes wander at the material glory. We are normally taken up by the external beauty and pomp. Our attention roams around the exterior. But God’s eyes rest upon the interior, what is within. He looks into what is going on inside. The externally most beautiful grand structure of the temple contained in itself the dirtiest deceptions by the priestly class. The greed, the political maneuvers, the power struggles and the luxurious life led by the temple class at the expense of the poor were abominable in the eyes of the Lord. The Sacred lost its sacredness. When the Sacred structure loses its sacredness it becomes nothing but a monument.

We too are created for sacred purposes. As St. Paul says, we are the temple of God. Our body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. We should take a minute and examine to find out what is really going on within the “Holy” temple of ours. Is it serving the sacred purposes for which it is created? Or has it become the den of treachery and vices? We may be able to hide the malicious viruses hidden in our hearts from the eyes of the people, but the eyes of the Lord are sharper and there is nothing that is hidden from Him. If we do not serve the purpose for which this temple of ours is built, the same tragic end will happen to us too. The prophecy of Jesus regarding the temple is as much applicable to us too. Dr. Martin Mallathu CMI



Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time

Rev 14: 14-19; Lk 21: 5-11

Faithful Trust

In the year 2000 many predicted that the end of the world is already near and some people even prepared and waiting for it but nothing happened. They predicted the end of the world because signs mentioned in the gospel like wars, increase of lowliness, famine, earthquakes and the rise of false prophets were present at that time (Mt 24:4). When they related the indications of the gospel to the present day events they were very clear that we were in the last days. As Christians, this is our belief and the Church’s view that we have been living in the last days for nearly 2000 years ever since Christ resurrected from the dead. The period between Jesus’ Ascension and his Second coming is called the last days.

Jesus doesn’t tell us when and how of his coming but in this period of waiting he warns us, “Beware that you are not led astray.” The Jews were very proud of their temple. It was truly beautiful. We are told that it was one of the most beautiful buildings in the world of its time. Jesus shocked them by telling them that this magnificent strong building would be thoroughly destroyed that not one stone would be left upon another. They were led astray by the material things and the beauty and majesty of the temple. Today’s social principle is: you are what you have. Jesus admonishes us that our security and hope is not in our achievements, possessions, bank deposits, material wealth, titles, positions, or children but in God alone.

The purpose of mentioning about war, famine, plagues and natural calamities in the gospel is not to frighten us but to instill in us hope that Jesus is sovereign Lord. The first reading describes that Jesus, the Son of Man wears a crown of gold to symbolize that he has conquered evil and he bears a sharp sickle to show that he will judge against evil (Rev. 14:14). But it is not enough for us just to wait for the Lord to come. Paul reminds us not to neglect our ordinary duties in this world because of the expectation of the end of the world. We must continue our daily work by remaining faithful to God. When St Aloysius Gonzaga was playing billiards with a friend, during the break, his partner asked him, “supposing, a few moments from now you were going to die, what would you do? St Aloysius paused for a moment and said with a smile, “I would go on with the game.” What he tells us is that we should not worry about the end of our life and end of the world. We have to continue living by being faithful to whatever we do. Let our daily prayers and the Eucharistic celebrations help us to trust in the Lord and continue our journey of life with courage and confidence. Dr. Davis Varayilan CMI



November 22, 2016

We know precious little which is factually true about the saint we remember today, Cecilia. Only that a fragmentary inscription of around 385 refers to a church named after her, and that her feast was celebrated at least in 545. All the rest is legend—especially her association with music. That being the case, we can nevertheless seize the occasion to reflect on how much music and musicians contribute to the beauty of our liturgies.

It is not difficult for us to imagine a liturgy without any music whatsoever, because that is almost the rule for weekly Masses in many places. And we also know the result of such musicless Masses: grey monotony. True, occasionally a completely silent Mass, if celebrated slowly and with profound devotion on the part of the priest, can be a moment of deep encounter with God, especially if the priest delivers a short and inspiring homily. But such conditions are rarely met, let us admit it, and silent Masses end up being boring.

On the other hand, a Mass accompanied with beautiful music, especially with the faithful doing most of the singing (not the choir!), brings us close to Heaven and its awesome liturgy.



See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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