Nowadays, the media feed us with terrible news of man-made and natural disasters like wars, super typhoons, killer quakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, and epidemics. Television and the internet also bombard us with heart-breaking images of starvation in famine-stricken countries, hopeless-looking refugees from warring nations, and emaciated people in our own country, victims of sudden economic downturn worsened by corruption and the unbridled greed of the rich and powerful.
All these morbid scenes of human tragedy seem to indicate that, indeed, the end of the world is near, as predicted in our gospel reading today. “When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21: