Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard from the Scripture readings a rather apocalyptic warning of what is to come in the future, as towards the end of this current liturgical year we are constantly reminded of the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and King which is certain to come at the end of time just as He has promised to us all. That is why today’s readings are focused on signs of times and premonitions to remind us of this fact.
In our first reading today, we heard of the story of how Daniel the prophet interpreted the dream of the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, who was perturbed by the strange dream that he had received in his sleep. The king saw a great statue made up of many parts and then suddenly a great rock came to destroy the entire great statue and demolished the whole statue until nothing was left behind.
As Daniel explained it to the king, the great statue represented the great realms and kingdoms of the world, including that of the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. They would come one after another, as the Persian Empire, Alexander’s Empire and its successors, and the Roman Empire would show us over the thousand years and more after the time when Daniel explained the dream to the king.
But what is constant is the fact that each of those great and powerful realms of the world did not last, but eventually were overthrown and destroyed, replaced and overcame, but the reign of God in truth cannot be overcome. And it is what was represented by the great big rock that came to destroy all of the great statue, that actually represents the kingdom of God in this world that is none other than His very own Church.
Do we all remember that the Church was established by the Lord on the foundation of Rock, the Rock of St. Peter? The Lord Himself bestowed a new name to Simon, His principal and leader of all the Apostles, the name Peter which is the Greek equivalent of the original Aramaic, ‘Kephas’ which is truly symbolic and related to what we have just heard in the story of king Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, of the great Rock of the Church that overcomes all the kingdoms and powers of the world.
This is related to what the Lord Jesus has told His disciples in our Gospel passage today, as we all heard of the warning which the Lord Jesus spoke of, as He spoke of the coming of difficult and challenging times, of the time when the Temple and city of Jerusalem would be destroyed and overturned, a premonition of what was to come just about four decades after when the city of Jerusalem and its Temple were destroyed after the failed insurrection of the Jews.
He also spoke of the coming of difficult times, of persecutions and troubles that the Church and the faithful would have to endure plenty of sufferings and pains, oppositions and obstacles even from those who were close and dear to them. They would have to bear and persevere through those times, facing false guides and leaders who would try to lead them astray to the wrong paths, amidst the pressures of the world to conform to the ways of sins among many others.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, yet despite all these trials and challenges that the faithful would have to face and endure, but as we have just discussed earlier, linking to what we have talked about the vision of king Nebuchadnezzar and the prophet Daniel’s explanations, we can see how the Church of God has been built and affirmed by God Himself on firm and strong foundation in Him and in the faith of the Apostles.
Therefore, we should not worry or be afraid, for none of those challenges will ever be great or difficult enough to overcome the Church. The Church has persevered through many trials and persecutions and it will certainly be able to bear through many more in the years to come. We must not lose faith but instead be ever hopeful and put our trust in the Lord at all times. For God will surely always be with us and He will continue to love us all the time.
Let us all put our complete faith and trust in God, devoting ourselves at all times in the service of God and loving Him with all of our hearts from now on. Let us all dedicate ourselves to the greater glory of God by our words, actions and deeds at all times. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.