The question of whether Jesus actually used the apocalyptic rhetoric attributed to him in todayís gospel is still debated. Some think that he did not, that he was more concerned with Godís love for us than he was with the destruction of the temple or signs in the heaven.
They argue that the rhetorical style of signs and wonders in the heavens was part of the culture of the time (and not just among the Jews) and that it meant indeed the end of the old creation but the beginning of a new creation.
However, it is not impossible to believe that Jesus used this mode of speaking to indicate that with his message of Godís love a new creation had begun.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time a new alderman was running in a certain city. He promised that his business would not solicit clients from the ward and indeed not accept them if they came. Moreover the also promised that he would give his aldermatic salary to the neighborhood. Heíd turn it over to a committee of clergy from the ward to use however they saw fit. No one believed him. Why was he running for alderman if he didnít want the money? He replied that he was running because he thought heíd love the job. What are you going to live off, they demanded. Off the income from my business, I donít need any more money. Still no one believe him.
All politicians were interested in making money, werenít they? Sure they were. Look at all the scandals in the papers. Nothing every changes. Cynicism is the only way to react to someone who promises a new beginning. Well, the candidate won in a run-off, but even those who voted for him were convinced that he was a crook.
Funny thing, though, he did give his first yearís salary to the local clergy and he didnít do any business with firms in his ward. Even today, people still donít believe him.
5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
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The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
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