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Lectio Sancti Evangelii Secundum Matheum

Jesus went out of the temple, and his disciples came to him and showed him the building of the temple. Responding, he said to them: "Indeed I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be destroyed." As he was sitting then upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him in secret, saying: "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will the sign of your coming be, and of the end of the world?" And responding, Jesus said to them: "See that no one seduces you. Many will come in my name, saying: I am Christ, and they will seduce many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; these things must come to be, but it is not yet the end. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be pestilence and famine and earthquakes in various places. All of this is the beginning of sorrows. Then they will betray you to tribulation, and they will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. And then many will be offended and will betray each other and hate each other. And many false prophets will arise and seduce many. And because iniquity will abound, the love of many will cool. But he who will endure to the end, he will be saved. And this gospel will be preached throughout the entire world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come. But no man knows the day and the hour, nor the angels in heaven, but the Father alone. Therefore watch, because you do not know the hour your Lord will come."

Beloved people, it happened once in the town that is named Jerusalem that our Lord's thanes began to speak with him about the great temple-building that was erected there in honor of God. Then he said to them that it must happen in later days that each stone would be thrown to the ground. And then they began to ask him again secretly when that must happen, and also by what signs a man might perceive when his second coming was at hand, and when this world's end must come. Then he answered them and said that they had need to be careful that no one deceive them too fraudulently with lying teaching and terrible boasts, because, he said, many will yet come in the future who will lie falsely and boast terribly, who will name themselves [God] and pretend to be God, as if it were Christ himself. "But say what they will," he said, "do not believe them ever." And he said that great strife must arise widely in the world before the end, and he taught that a man should not then be too weak-minded, and he said that the end was not yet entirely at hand. He said also that nations must strive violently among themselves, and many earthquakes and misfortunes must occur in the world before the world ends. And that will be the beginning, he said, of the sorrows that will come to humanity. It is certain that he meant for us to know very well the sorrow and the pain that will come in the world before the time when Antichrist rages and terrifies all the world. Because then there will be a grim and painful persecution of Christian folk, and those who love God will be hated and set against everywhere. And deceitful liars will then arise and spread too widely and through false teaching lead too many astray. But it will be well forever afterwards in the world for those who do not weaken then in any way. And one thing I will yet say to you for certain, that this gospel will undoubtedly be known all around the world before the world ends, as the book says, and afterwards the end will come as quickly as God wills it. And nevertheless there is no one on earth nor any angel in heaven who knows the appointed day except God himself. And thus a man must watch and take heed always so that he may indeed be prepared for the judgment, when he comes to us, for we know with certainty that it is very near. And at that judgment, to which all people must go, our Lord himself will immediately show us his bloody side and his pierced hands and the very cross on which he was hung for our need; and he will surely know how we have repaid him and how we have held our Christianity.

Beloved people, let us be careful and do as is needful for us, love God above all other things and work his will as best we can. Then he will reward us as is most pleasing to us. To him be praise and glory always without end, amen.