One apocalyptic sign of the end of the world order is the war among nations and kingdoms. And Jesus includes here the great tribulation that would fall on the city of Jerusalem. He has already wept over this city, for it did not know what makes for peace (Lk 19:41-44); an irony indeed because the name comes from shalom, “peace.” Instigated by their radical leaders, the Jews rose up against the Romans which led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in September of 70 AD. For Luke who wrote his Gospel in the mid-80s AD, Jesus’ prediction of the great tribulation could allude to the specific events when the Romans laid a siege around the city.
GOSPEL • Lk 21:20-28
Jesus said to his disciples: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.