Saint for the day: Cecilia (born late 3rd Century – died early 4th Century)
Revelation 14:14-19 – Psalm 96 – Luke 21:5-11
”While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, ‘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.’” (Luke 21:5-6)
I remember some times back when an older Dominican friar was lamenting about all the changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council. He made the statement, “It’s not the same Church that I grew up in. I don’t know what to do about that?”
My first thought at hearing this was, “Yes! You’re right .” It isn’t the same Church that you grew up in since the Church is made up of living stones that are constantly “on the way” to something greater than this particular moment of history.
My second thought was the familiar adage, “familiarity breeds contempt.” It doesn’t take very long for any of us to sink our roots in a passing moment of history. The disciples did this on the Mount of Transfiguration: “Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us build three tents…” thinking that this was a moment of salvation that needed to be locked in on. But we know that Jesus came down from that “mountain of glory” and reminded his followers that they must be on the way across the plain.
As glorious as the Temple in Jerusalem was, it was destroyed by the Romans before this Gospel was written. What insight can we get from today’s Scripture readings? What’s our bottom line?
In the first place we are people of flesh and bone with our feet firmly planted on this earth. We’re not pure spirits yet we have a longing for the Kingdom yet to come. In the meantime – in-between – we build new churches, take care of our families, try to live as true followers of Jesus knowing that here we have no lasting city. But we don’t just go out to some cliff in the desert and wait for the end.
The temple in Jerusalem is gone. The Church where I was baptized has also been destroyed and re-built. The home where I grew up has changed hands several times but I am still here! And believe it or not … I think that I have changed in all these years. But I’m still on the journey. I’ve not given up yet. Change is inevitable but it’s still “Heaven all the way to heaven!” Amen!