There are shadows and hints of shadows.

But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be, then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.

The gnawed and twisted remnants of their certainty litter the floor. They once believed him.

For 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.

They look at each other. Not sure what to say. Or how. But he’s only getting started.

And 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.

The madness is worse than ever. What sanity he had has dissipated, and the darkness is closing in. They would have followed him to Rome.

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death.

Slowly they start to rise. Could this be the same man who touched lepers? And ate with prostitutes? Who challenged Caesar to a duel in the sky?

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. Then 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.

The grand delusions again. The claim of immortality. The promise of final vindication.

But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.

They’ve slowly realized that he is going to kill himself. Most have left. At the end, all will have gone.

Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.

As they slowly walk away, he becomes quietly intense. His face animating his words.

And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.

The only sound left is his mother, crying alone in the darkness.

(see Mark 13)