In today’s Gospel Jesus comments on the impending destruction of the Temple after bystanders were speaking in awe of its beauty. We can get a sense of the situation if we imagine ourselves before St. Peter’s Basilica as someone tells us this magnificent church will soon be flattened. With Jesus’ onlookers we ask, “When will this happen?” But Jesus does not offer an answer.  Instead He speaks of a broader context of turmoil, persecution, and devastation for all those linked to the Temple.  

What does this have to do with us today?   Consider the Church not as a building but rather as the Body of Christ. We live as Christ’s presence in a deeply wounded world. Because we are in but not of the world, we will be attacked. Will we stay true to our calling, being aware of Christ’s promise of remaining with us and giving us the necessary wisdom to respond?

—Fr. Ken Styles, S.J. does pastoral ministry at Walsh Jesuit High School, Cuyahoga Falls, OH.