Jesus said to his disciples, «As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be on the day the Son of Man comes. Then people ate and drank; they took husbands and wives. But on the day Noah entered the ark, the flood came and destroyed them all. Just as it was in the days of Lot: people ate and drank, they bought and sold, planted and built. But on the day Lot left Sodom, God made fire and sulfur rain down from heaven which destroyed them all. So will it be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
»On that day, if you are on the rooftop, don't go down into the house to get your belongings, and if you happen to be in the fields, do not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever tries to save his life will lose himself, but whoever gives his life will be born again. I tell you, though two men are sharing the same bed, it may be that one will be taken and the other left. Though two women are grinding corn together, one may be taken and the other left». Then they asked Jesus, «Where will this take place, Lord?». And he answered, «Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather».
These days we are meditating about the Kingdom of God and when it will come. Today Jesus seems to insist once again about the mystery of the time of the Lord. However, if we look at the example given by the Lord, there is little difference of this mystery. The story of Noah says with certitude and many events in the old testament confirm that if we remain united with God, faithful to His teachings, thirst for His Word, then this ‘time’ will be revealed to us in due time and there won’t be any surprise to the people of Light.
The human intelligence and wisdom that God has placed in our being, does reveal to us this truth of God’s desire to share with us everything. God wishes to be close to the humanity and He doesn’t hide any divine truth to the sincere seeks of Divine wisdom. This divine generosity that we have seen in the history of salvation, do assure us and consoles us. Certainly the people of Light need not get frightened of the darkness, because the Light is more powerful than darkness.
However, if we choose to live in darkness, refuse to open ourselves to the divine revelation, then, the arrival of the Kingdom of God, will certainly surprises us. If we wish to avoid this unpleasant surprise, then the simple thing to do is, listen to the Word of God and put in practice all that the Lord instructs us. It all begins with conversion, reconciliation and generous in forgiving. If we lack any one of them, we miss everything.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Those working in the field are sowing the Word of God, by Ambrose of Milan, 339-397 A.D.
"'He that will be on the housetop, do not let him go down. He that will be in the field, do not let him turn back.' How may I understand what is the field unless Jesus himself teaches me? He says, 'No one putting his hand to the plough (plow) and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God' (Luke 9:62). The lazy person sits in the farmhouse, but the industrious person plants in the field. The weak are at the fireplace, but the strong are at the plough. The smell of a field is good, because the smell of Jacob is the smell of a full field (Genesis 27:27). A field is full of flowers. It is full of different fruits. Plough your field if you want to be sent to the kingdom of God. Let your field flower, fruitful with good rewards. Let there be a fruitful vine on the sides of your house and young olive plants around your table (Psalm 127:3). Already aware of its fertility, let your soul, sown with the Word of God and tilled by spiritual farming, say to Christ, 'Come, my brother, let us go out into the field' (Song of Solomon 7:11). Let him reply, 'I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my vintage of myrrh' (Song of Solomon 5:1). What is better than the vintage of faith, by which the fruit of the resurrection is stored and the spring of eternal rejoicing is watered?" (excerpt from EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 8.43.27)
«People ate and drank, they bought and sold, planted and built »
Fr. Austin NORRIS
Today, in the Gospel text, the end times as well as the uncertainty of life is highlighted, not to frighten us, but to keep us fore-armed and focused, ready to meet our Creator. The sacrificial nature of the Gospel is seen in its Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as he leads us by example, to be ever ready to seek and do the Will of God. Constant vigilance and preparedness is the hallmark of the ardent disciple. We cannot just be like people who «ate and drank, they bought and sold, planted and built…» (Lk 17:28). We disciples must be ready and watchful, lest we be lulled into spiritual lethargy by the progress of life from one generation to the next and assume that Jesus won't return after all.
Secularism has taken strong roots in our society. The onslaught of innovation and ready availability of personal goods and services makes us feel self-sufficient and devoid of God’s presence in our lives. It is only when tragedy strikes that we are awakened from our slumber to look at God amidst our “vale of tears...”. And we must be thankful for these tragic moments, because they surely must serve to strengthen our faith.
In the recent months, the attacks on Christian in several parts of the world (including my very own country India), may have shaken our faith. But the Holy Father Francis says: «Christians are ultimately hopeful, however, because at the end, Jesus makes a promise that is a guarantee of victory: ‘Whoever gives his life will be born again’ (Lk 17:33)». This is a truth that we can rely on… The powerful witness of our brothers and sisters who lay down their lives for the faith and the witness to Christ shall not be in vain.
And so we labour onwards in the journey of our lives in the sincere hope of meeting our God «on the day the Son of Man is revealed» (Lk 17:30).