Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Daniel &:2-14; Luke 21:29-33)
In its July issue The Atlantic magazine asked a number of experts when and how the world would end. The answers varied from relatively soon by means of a smashing asteroid or a volcanic eruption to five billion years from now when the sun expands to take the earth and other planets into its core. People are always curious about these things.
In today’s gospel Jesus hints that the end will take place before his generation ends. It sounds then like Jesus is wrong in his prediction as everyone else who has foretold an imminent end. However, his term “generation” is really indefinite. A generation may be as long as an epoch or as short as a score and ten years. The point is of lesser importance to Jesus than the assurance that his words will be remembered forever.
We, Jesus’ followers, must concur with his promise. Whether the world ends before our life’s candle burns down or, more likely, we die before the earth falls apart, we must keep faithful to Jesus’ words. When we meditate upon them and put them into practice, we are assumed into eternal life where queries about the world’s end fade before the more real concern of how to make the world a better place for all.