Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Daniel 2:31-45
Gospel Luke 21:5-11

"…there will not be left a stone upon another stone…."

Everything that’s built by human beings can be destroyed. That’s why something like the Great Pyramids of Egypt are so awesome: not simply because they are colossal, but because they have—to an amazing extent—survived the ravages of time. You can think of one of the large cities on the West Coast of our own country: from the air, as you fly into the area, you can be filled with awe. Yet an earthquake could destroy everything in the area in a matter of minutes.

Through the prophet Daniel, God wanted King Nebuchadnezzar to know that his kingdom, so dear to him, could and would undergo destruction. Other kingdoms would take its place, but they, too, would last only a time. This prophecy of Daniel foreshadowed the words of Jesus, when he spoke of the Temple of Jerusalem: it, like everything built by human beings, would be destroyed. These are not the sorts of things to place our hope in.

But Daniel also prophesied that God would set up a kingdom that would not be destroyed. There was no way that Daniel could understand this prophecy, but through Daniel, God was speaking about the Church: not church buildings (even Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome will some day fall), but the Church herself, made up of “living stones”. Those who place their faith in Christ the King, and live in Him as members of His Mystical Body, will have eternal life.