The Gospel reading from the Mass for Friday for the 34th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 21:29-33.

As He prepares His disciples, including those present at the Incarnation and all Christian generations to come, Christ warned of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and that His Second Coming will occur at some point in the future.  The days building up to His Second Coming will be stressful, particularly for unbelievers: the entire world will be shaken and in chaos. Christ reassures His disciples, promising the great upheaval will be a joyous time for those about to be redeemed by the Son of Man.

Having asserted that signs in the heavens and on earth will accompany His Second Coming, Christ points to His Creation to help the disciples recognize and believe what He has revealed. Just as the leafing out of trees is a perennial sign of summer, so too will be the chaos be a sign of His Second Coming. Christ assures that His Second Coming will be fruitful, bringing new spiritual food just like the trees that perennially provide men with food (figs).  The Kingdom of Heaven, which already exists after His Resurrection, is like a tree in winter which exists but comes into fullness when it blooms in the summer; this will occur at the Second Coming.

Christ’s statement that “this generation will not pass away until all has taken place” can be confusing; two thousand years and many generations have passed, but the Second Coming has not yet occurred. Affirming that Scripture is inerrant (CCC 107), several explanations have been given: 1) Christ’s use of “generation” refers to all humans (the evil generation of all mankind) up until the Second Coming; 2) Christ use of “this generation” refers to the specific generation alive when the tumultuous signs that precede the Second Coming (v. 25-26) occur. While His meaning is shrouded in mystery, men can be assured: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has omniscient understanding of eternity, including what has and will occur in the whole of Salvation History.  Divine Teacher, Christ teaches with parables that help men across time understand Truth. Divine King, Christ promises His disciples the blessings of the Kingdom of God and urges them to believe.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1)  Rather than teach with dry facts, Christ enlivens and encourages men to grasp truth through parables which draw on everyday experience. Marvel at your ability to be taught by Christ, the Divine Teacher, through the blessing of Holy Scripture.

2) As certain as the perennial leafing out of trees, Christ promises that His Kingdom is coming. Refresh your joy in Christ’s promise in the Lord’s Prayer, Thy Kingdom Come (CCC 2816-2821) and pray for Christ to be always filled with hope and joy for His coming Kingdom.

3) Even in the current evil and relativistic culture in which there is no truth and men are encouraged to pursue every selfish pleasure, Christ remains the Truth (John 14:6) that “will never pass away.” Reflect on the Living in the Truth (CCC 2465-2470) and pray for Christ help you resist evil temptations and to build your life on His Truth as preserved in Scripture and the Church.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

Virtue of the Day – Faith

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries