NOVEMBER 12. Ord Time B. Wk 32. Fri. Lk 17. 26-37
Jesus said to the disciples:
‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.
‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.’
As the Church year draws to a close the scripture readings are taken from the teachings of Christ to his disciples as he is walking towards Jerusalem where he knows he will endure his Passion and Death.
The Church uses these readings to have us focus, not so much on the end of the Church year, but rather on the end of our life on this earth; - a journey we are all on; - which we know will end in our death; - and for which we have to be ready.
Today’s gospel points out how, in the time of Noah, and again in the time of Lot, the behaviour of God’s people was such that he punished them severely; - firstly with the great flood, and secondly with his treatment of Sodom.
What Christ is doing today is warning us that if we continue to reject his teachings and directions and we follow instead the ways of the world that the punishment bestowed on God’s people in Noah and Lot’s time will be repeated; - a warning we should take very seriously!
Noah was a preacher of God’s righteousness, as was Lot to the Sodomites. The preacher we have to listen to is not a prophet sent by God, but rather Jesus Christ the Son of God! If we ignore his warnings and teachings the difference is the punishment to follow will be eternal!
“The day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all; - It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed!”
“From the very beginning; - it is I the Lord speaking; - I taught the prophets, and from then until the present day I have never stopped speaking to all men; - but many there are who are deaf to my voice and hard of heart. Many are fonder of listening to the world than to God, readier to follow the cravings of the flesh than to what God wants of them.
The world promises men its petty prizes that are soon gone, and find in them its eager and willing slaves; - while I promise them prizes that last forever, but the hearts of men are dull and unmoved. What man is there who in all he does gives me such devotion, such obedience, as is given to the world, and those who rule the world? (Imitation of Christ. Bk 3. Ch 3. No 3)
Gospel Acclamation Lk21:28
Lift up your heads and see:
your redemption is near at hand.
First reading Wisdom 13:1-9
How have those who investigated the world been so slow to find its Master?
Naturally stupid are all men who have not known God
and who, from the good things that are seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is,
or, by studying the works, have failed to recognise the Artificer.
Fire however, or wind, or the swift air,
the sphere of the stars, impetuous water, heaven’s lamps,
are what they have held to be the gods who govern the world.
If, charmed by their beauty, they have taken things for gods,
let them know how much the Lord of these excels them,
since the very Author of beauty has created them.
And if they have been impressed by their power and energy,
let them deduce from these how much mightier is he that has formed them,
since through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures
we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author.
Small blame, however, attaches to these men,
for perhaps they only go astray
in their search for God and their eagerness to find him;
living among his works, they strive to comprehend them
and fall victim to appearances, seeing so much beauty.
Even so, they are not to be excused:
if they are capable of acquiring enough knowledge
to be able to investigate the world,
how have they been so slow to find its Master?