World Day of the Poor: The End of Jerusalem. The End of Time (Lk 21:5ff.)
From the full homily available here.
The temple in Jerusalem was in all its glory during the lifetime of Jesus. It was totally destroyed as a place of worship in 70 AD, nearly forty years after his death. Not too many of those who had heard his prophecy about its destruction would actually have witnessed the appalling event. Nor did it prove possible to obliterate the site completely. The foundation stones were too massive; some are one hundred tons in weight. The details of the whole tragedy are recounted by an eye-witness account of the events, namely by the Jewish historian Josephus who wrote the The Wars of the Jews, New Updated Edition Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. 1987, Book 6 chapter 6.
Pilgrims and tourists return to historical sites for information and inspiration. We all need historical knowledge to understand better the origins and fate of peoples and places. ‘Not a stone will be left upon a stone’, said Our Lord to his then temple- admiring disciples. Such was his expectation, based probably on what he had seen in other ruins in the Palestine of his day. It seemed that the End Time-the end of the world- would come then, but it did not. There was a lot of history yet to unfold, as St. Luke would narrate in The Acts of the Apostles. [...]
As we approach Advent, and leave the present liturgical year behind, we are once again invited to think of the future realistically. Today’s Communion antiphon says: it is good for me to be with the Lord and to put my hope in him. And the Communion Prayer says: Father, may we grow in love. That sums it all up for us. Our End of Time is: “Love that moves the sun and the other stars”, Dante, Paradiso, Canto XXXIII, last line). A happy Sunday to you all. Amen.
Rev Richard J. Taylor
Spiritual Advisor, MaterCare International
Boarbank Hall, Cumbria, UK