Today's scripture is not an easy one to read. It's difficult in many ways.
Lord, in the midst of suffering hold us. In the midst of the pains of our world break in and be peace. Amen
The Destruction of the Temple Foretold13As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’2Then Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’
3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,4‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?’5Then Jesus began to say to them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray.6Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!”* and they will lead many astray.7When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come.8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
Persecution Foretold9 ‘As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them.10And the good news* must first be proclaimed to all nations.11When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;13and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
The Desolating Sacrilege14 ‘But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains;15someone on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take anything away;16someone in the field must not turn back to get a coat.17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days!18Pray that it may not be in winter.19For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be.20And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days.21And if anyone says to you at that time, “Look! Here is the Messiah!”* or “Look! There he is!”—do not believe it.22False messiahs* and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.23But be alert; I have already told you everything.
The Coming of the Son of Man24 ‘But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory.27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.