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».
The events of the day are in fact quite terrifying. Political and civil climates are troubling. Peuple in general are suffering with sickness, isolation and supression. Separations and victimization are the normal days affaire. Thus our life here seems to be complicated with complex relationships, like composed and recomposed families, particularly of mono-parental status. The society has so changed that the very defition of the family is in question.
However, life as it is, for every christian believers, is very simple, a life given and a life received: Given freely and received in full recognition. Every day is a new life and we are asked to welcome every moment of life and live it to the full. If we learn to live this life, according to the commandment of love, as a faithful servant to our Master, we will seek nothing more than life itself, which was already welcomed with joy. It was given without asking for anything and it will leave without saying anything. When the last day stricks us, we will be calm and peacefull.
The man who has recognised the Author of life, will respect His intention and will seek the purpose of life every day, because every day we receive new life, like a morning gift. The gift is less important, because the One who gaves it is more important than the gift received. Wisdom teaches us that the more we attach ourselves to the Author of life, the more the gift is assured. Let us therefore be wise in our discernment.
Action of the day : respect the life, by living it in the present.
«Whoever tries to save his life will lose himself, but whoever gives his life will be born again»
Fr. Enric PRAT i Jordana
(Sort, Lleida, Spain)
Today, in the context of a prevailing materialist culture, many people behave as they did in Noah's time: «People ate and drank; they took husbands and wives» (Lk 17:27); or as in the days of Lot, when «(...) they bought and sold, planted and built» (Lk 17:28). With such shortsighted vision, the supreme aspiration of many persons is centered in their own physical and temporal life and, consequently, all their efforts are reduced to maintain that kind of life, to protect and enrich it.
In the fragment of the Gospel we are commenting today, Jesus wants to step in this fragmentary conception of life that damages the human being and leads it to frustration. And He does it with a conclusive and strong sentence, which may move consciences and force them to come up with some fundamental questions: «Whoever tries to save his life will lose himself, but whoever gives his life will be born again» (Lk 17:33). Pondering over this lesson of Jesus Christ, St. Augustine says: «What are we therefore to say? Will those who do these things all die, that is, those who get married, plant vineyards and build? Not them, but those who boast of all that, those who place all these things before God, those who are willing to offend God for all these things this very moment».
In fact, who is losing his life while trying to preserve it, but he who has exclusively lived in the flesh, without letting the spirit drift, or who, with a closed mind, selfishly and totally ignore others? For it is obvious that the life of the flesh will eventually be lost, but our spiritual life, if not shared, is also impaired.
Life, per se, tends naturally to growth, exuberance, fructification and reproduction. But, if nobbled and hidden to be ambitiously used with exclusion, it becomes sterile and dies. This is why all the saints, that have taken Jesus, who passionately lived for God and men, as a model, have, in many ways and generously, submitted their lives to the service of God and their fellow men.