Jesus knows how to get the attention of his listeners—he predicts the destruction of the temple. But when someone peaks our interest we want to know more, right? So they ask, “When will this be and what will be the sign?” The signs Jesus gives would have been familiar yet disturbing to his listeners. Jesus has their attention (a good thing) yet they will now be tempted to read into everything that seems to fulfill the prophecy.
I often find, in my life as a student, God gets my attention through a question (goods thing). And then the enemy of our human nature latches on to that question—using it to stir up anxiety and an unnecessary urgency in finding the answer (things not of God). Saint Ignatius reminds us of the importance of discerning these interior movements and asking God, “What part of this is from you?”
—Brad Held, S.J., a Jesuit of the Wisconsin province, is currently a theology student at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He has just come from 3 years of teaching at Red Cloud Indian School on the Holy Rosary Jesuit Mission in Pine Ridge, SD.