“Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” ~ Revelation 2:10
In today’s Gospel (Luke 21:5-11) Jesus not only warns his followers of the turbulent times that are to come, but he reminds them of the importance of preparing for the passing of material things, for the temple that he speaks of in this passage is not made of brick and mortar, but instead the minds, hearts, and souls of his faithful servants.
“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” Jesus portends, as those in attendance are awe-stricken by the ocular beauty of their temple high atop the mountain, bejeweled with precious stones and votive offerings. When asked for a sign from the suddenly pensive disciples in attendance, Jesus warns them that many false prophets will come, as will war, insurrection, earthquakes, famine and plagues. But he urges them just the same, “do not be terrified.” Easier said than done? Not really.
Throughout scripture, Jesus urges the faithful to “be not afraid.” 365 times to be exact. Yes, in some way, shape or form, we are reminded that needless worry and useless anxiety is just that; needless and useless. Once a day every day for those who observe the Gregorian Calendar.
Our need to diligently weave Scripture into our daily lives is underscored by this fact, as is our necessity for fortification through the celebration of the Mass, the recitation of the Rosary and of course the Sacraments. Peace of mind and serenity can be attained through these practices. Conversely, I shudder to think of a life lived without them. Suffice to say, fear is well justified in that scenario. We must let the peace of Christ settle in our heart so that our peace can shine like a bright lamp stand to those around us. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. To live each day and glorify his name” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7