Jesus speaks of the Temple adorned with costly stones that would be completely destroyed.
In 70 A.D. the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple by the use of the catapult: The Jewish watchmen cried out in their own language, “THE STONE IS COMING! “THE STONE IS COMING!”
The Romans declared their innocence for the death and destruction saying that, after some Jews had revolted, God had deserted the Temple. Jesus identified himself with the Temple as God’s definitive dwelling-place among men, so the catechism says his being nailed to the Cross was a warning about the destruction of the Temple. 586
There is another destructive stone, in the Prophetic book of Daniel, which Daniel sees as not cut by human hands and it demolished four world empires, and the stone itself became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35). The stone hewn from the mountain is the kingdom of God awaited by the Jews, and realized in Jesus Christ as the stone which the builders rejected which has become the cornerstone, “and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” (source: Luke 20:17-18 and Daniel 2:36-45, both verses taken from a footnote at the USCCB.org bible for Daniel 2:36–45).
The third huge stone is the stone of hope that sealed Jesus’ tomb. After a violent earthquake, an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled back the stone from Jesus’ tomb and, Matthew 28:2 indicates that this angel had some attitude because the angel then sat on the stone rolled away to reveal the empty tomb. The catechism says that the Resurrection was an historical event upon which the Christian faith is based (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14) an event at the mystery of time, prefiguring the last day when Christ will return in glory (647).
The ultimate purpose of our apocalyptic Readings this Sunday which speaks of nations rising against nations, powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky,” (Matthew 24:7) is that we are to maintain a detachment from the world that is passing away, our eyes fixed on the world that will never end. (Bishop Barron)
What do we do in the meantime? We speak to bear witness—confidently, boldly, provocatively—the message of the Gospel, the dying and rising of the Lord, receiving the encouraging promise of Jesus that when we are questioned by rulers and authorities about our Christian faith, we don’t have to practice or memorize a speech in advance. (Bishop Barron)
Luke 12:11, from our Gospel today, promises that Jesus himself, through the Holy Spirit, shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
Our Gospel today teaches us that “to deliver” a person from apocalyptic upheaval does not mean that God would make it all better right then and there. Apocalyptic piety is your confidence and security that not a hair on your head will be destroyed so that those who die for the faith can be assured of a special gift of fortitude that God will give them, and that God will hold them in his love.
Our perseverance will secure our lives in the world to come, and patience is the bridge through destruction and death that carries you from the will of God to the realized promises of God.
For reflection: To what extent am I able to read or watch the news with a calm confidence that God is ultimately in charge? And that he will bring me safely to himself?