As Jesus came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!" Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down."
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?" Then Jesus began to say to them, "Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For 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 birthpangs.
"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. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When 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. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." Mark 13:1-13
One of the challenges to family life is sibling relationships. I had four (now three) living siblings - three sisters and one brother. At various different times growing we have gotten along well, and had the occasional falling out. As adults we drifted apart, chose very different lives, and have found it hard to be together at times. But together we are, whether we like it or not and it is our work, our calling, to find ways to be a family despite the losses we have faced. We are bound together by love and by generations of those who have endured to the end despite terrible odds and uncertain futures. Even apart we are together in the struggle, in the day to day tasks to make it until tomorrow.
The disciples are concerned about the future and Jesus lays it out pretty bluntly. There are massive challenges ahead, and it will be extremely difficult not to strike back at the violence and the hatred, the abuse and the dishonesty. Jesus tells it like it is - is going to be. Although we face nothing like the first disciples did, we daily face challenges that make us want to throw in the towel. We want to give up and take care of number one- disregarding everyone else. We want to give up on the love and faith we have inherited, just as they were tempted. We are invited to live one day at a time expecting solutions for tomorrow and completion in the end.
Today I ask God to give me the strength to endure one more day. May we live today with the hope for solutions and faith that love will restore all that is broken. May we live beyond our fear and grief reaching, with all those tireless ancestors, toward the goal of finding ourselves in the loving arms of our Creator.