Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 33rd Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle C – Luke 21:5-19
Arriving in Jerusalem, Christ is teaching in the Temple area prior to the Passover Feast during which He will be crucified. The Temple, in the 50th year of an 80 year enhancement project, was an impressive demonstration of Jewish pride and their attempts to serve God; the Temple had massive stones the size of semi-trucks, exquisite art, materials from all over the Middle East and remarkable craftsmanship. Looming over Jerusalem like a “snow-clad mountain”, all would have believed the Temple would stand for thousands of years.
Christ’s pronouncement that the Temple would be utterly destroyed must have seemed impossible given the sheer scope of the structure and because people thought it was the Temple of God. Replying to the shocked questions of when Christ foresaw the Temple falling, He does not answer. Instead, Christ warns them not to believe false proclamations of those claiming to be Christ and to not fear the inevitable “wars and tumults” that will proceed His Second Coming. Christ’s prophecy of the complete destruction of the Temple comes true less than 40 years later when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem to put down a Jewish rebellion; some 1 million Jews die.
Christ predicts vicious persecutions of His disciples followed by calamitous events. Christ warns that disciples will be tormented in His name’s sake; they will be betrayed by family and friends and persecuted by religious and secular powers. He directs the disciples to prepare for persecution and to rely on Him to provide them the words that their persecutors will be unable to “understand or contradict.” Wars will then rage, earthquakes will rock the earth, there will be terrors, great signs in the skies and people will starve and be ravaged with plagues. Throughout all these trials Christ exhorts the disciples to endure, promising that those who endure will see everlasting life.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ has omniscience that spans time, knowing the specifics of the coming trials of Salvation History. Divine Prophet, Christ accurately predicts the fall of the Temple and the persecutions of the early Christians. Divine King, Christ encourages and challenges His disciples to rely on Him and to endure to the end.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Marvel at Christ’s astoundingly accurate prophecies of the destruction of the Temple and the persecution of Christians.
2) Some men are intrigued by attempting to find secret meaning in Scripture (e.g. knowing when the “end times” will occur, etc.). Reflect on Christ’s warning to not get caught up in such nonsense (“Take heed that you are not led astray…Do not go after them”). Instead, ask Christ to allow you to draw close to Him and understand and do His will.
3) There are a growing number of “preppers” who anticipate societal collapse and are actively preparing for the worst (securing foodstuffs, weapons, medicines, secure locations, etc.). Catholic men should be prudent to protect their families with physical necessities, but also to be spiritually prepared. Pray that Christ guide you to holiness and to lead your family to be spiritually prepared, come what may.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity
Virtue of the Day – Charity
Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner