Time, for us, appears to be linear. The span of our lives is so short that we often miss the great expanse of history, and we fail to realize that time is anything but linear. Indeed, time, rather, is cyclical. Things come and things go, and then they come back again. Just look around, what was old is new. Nothing ever stays the same. This is true in the larger society, in history. At the time Jesus lived Rome dominated most of the world. Many, I’m sure, believed that domination would last forever. But, in time, Rome declined, fell, and another power rose to take Rome’s place. Closer to us in time, not that many years ago, England ruled a vast empire that stretched across the entire globe. The sun never set on the British Empire. In time, however, the sun did set on that Empire, and England was no longer quite the power it had been. The ascendancy of America and our rise to superpower has many believing that we will stay on top forever, but, in time, we will decline, and another power will take our place. Nothing lasts forever. That is the point that Jesus was making in the Gospel reading today. Looking at the magnificence of the Temple, who would have believed that on day not one stone would be left on another? But that is what Jesus said. Even this glorious place will fall. Nothing lasts forever, except God. In all of the change that swirls around us, there is one constant, God. God is always there, the One who always was, the One who is, and who always will be. There is great comfort in that thought. Though everything around us may change, God’s presence, God’s love, will always be there, ever present, ever ready to take us in and shelter us from the storm around us. That is reason to pray, to praise, and to be thankful.
Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time
Nov. 28, 2006