By St. Theophan the Recluse
Now the people, priests and authorities of the Jews hear the word of the Lord for the last time in the temple (Matthew 24:36-26, 2). And it was all-embracing; it embraced everything past, present and future. By asking about John, the Lord makes it clear that He is the true Messiah; by the parable of the two sons, he proclaims that the Jews will be rejected and the Gentiles will be called to take their place; by the parable of the winegrowers he tells them that destruction awaits the rejected; by the parable of the marriage of the king's son He teaches that not all of those who come to Him will be worthy, and there will be those who will righteously be cast out into the darkness; by answering questions about the tribute to Caesar and about the first commandment, as well as by the accusatory speech, He determines the characteristic features of the life of salvation; finally, especially to his disciples, He predicts woe to Jerusalem and reveals the secret of His second coming. It was enough just to listen to all this with attention to be sure that He - Christ - is the true Savior of the world, and to submit to His commandments and teachings. And until now, reading the chapters of the Gospel about everything that happened on this day is the most effective means to revive faith in the Lord, and, raising the consciousness in a Christian of what he should be and what to expect, stir up jealousy and show himself as confessing the Lord not in word only, but also by deed.