The Holy Priest-Martyr Clement, Bishop of Ancyra; the Holy Martyr Agathangel (both 286-305); Blessed Vincent Levoniuk and His Twelve Companions: Nykyta Hrytsiuk, Ivan Andreychuk, Constantine Boyko, Michael Vavryshchuk, Onuphriy Vasyliuk, Philip Kyryliuk, Maxim Havryliuk, Daniel Karmashchuk, Constantine Lukashchuk, Bartholomew Osypiuk, Luke Boyko and Ignatius Franchuk; Martyred at Pratulin (1871); Passing into Eternal Life (1952) of Blessed Olimpia Bida, Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and Martyr
2 Peter 2:9-22; Mark 13:14-23
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
In the year 70 AD, the world ended. The Temple, the centre of Jewish religious, cultural and political life was destroyed by the Romans. It was an unthinkable disaster. The Temple was where God was present to the people, the place where sacrifices atoned for sin and humanity had a connection with the Eternal. Its destruction was seen as the absolute end of the world, nothing worse could happen.
Yet, this was not the end of the world and our Lord tells those listening to Him to flee from the temptation to fight and defend what they have when they see this coming. They must be always ready to flee and not let any temptation stop them or hold them back. They must not confuse what they have now with what they are called to have, and who we are called to be.
We receive a good reminder today brothers and sisters. We have not arrived. We do not live in a Christian society. We must not get confused with our current location because to do so can truly be a death sentence. The same Spirit who warned those fleeing Jerusalem, and drove the first monks into the desert to seek God when Christianity became the state religion, and inspired St. Francis to give up his riches and comfortable life, can move and inspire us. We must have an attentive heart and move lightly on our feet, not believing we have arrived, but that we are called to keep the Lord and His mission before us. In so doing, we will be called ever upwards and onwards into His eternal love!