THEME: THE LAST DAY SURPRISES.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
‘So will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed.’
The liturgical year is gradually coming to an end. And in preparation for the feast of Christ’s Kingship, the Church is directing the minds of her children towards eschatological realities. Jesus goes on to emphasize the suddenness of His coming and the things that will follow.
In the Gospel of today (Luke 17:26-37), Jesus uses two examples from history, Noah and Lot, to illustrate the same point, namely, the need to be ready for the certain and coming day of judgment when Jesus returns. Noah and Lot were not contemporaries! The flood and the judgment on Sodom are given to us as two graphic warnings of the coming judgment on the whole earth at the Second Coming.
Both the people of Noah’s time and the people in Sodom in Lot’s day were notoriously wicked, but Jesus does not focus here on their flagrant evil. Rather, He shows that they just went on about the normal affairs of life, oblivious to God and the coming judgment. There is nothing wrong with eating and drinking or with getting married (17:27). The problem was that the people of Noah’s day lived without regard to God and the warnings of the impending flood. They laughed at Noah as a crazy man, but they stopped laughing when the waters of the flood started rising and Noah was secure inside the ark. But by then it was too late. For a fool, wisdom is always coming late.
The same was true in Lot’s day. There is nothing wrong with eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, and building (17:28). The problem was, they were living in total disregard of God. As you know from the story in Genesis 19, the people of Sodom were grossly immoral, but that is not the Lord’s focus here. If He had focused on that, decent, moral folks, like the Pharisees, would have thought, “We are in no danger, because we don’t live like the people of Sodom did.” But, as Jesus states it, the warning is for people who just go on with life as if judgment never will come. They have no regard for the things of God and eternity. But one day, the Son of Man will suddenly be revealed in power and glory, and these foolish people will be destroyed by God’s judgment.
Jesus goes on to give a graphic, specific description of what it will be like when He returns. Someone will be on his housetop, the equivalent of the modern day patio. He is lounging there when the lightning flash of Christ’s return suddenly hits. He is not even to take the time to go into his house and collect his personal belongings. Rather, he must flee the judgment that will swiftly follow. If a man is working in the fields, he must not go back to his house, but must head for safety. Then, Jesus pointedly warns, “Remember Lot’s wife.” She started to flee out of Sodom, but her heart was still there. Disobeying the angel’s command, she looked back and was encrusted with the brimstone that rained down from heaven. She perished in that awful judgment.
Then Jesus states the principle: “Whoever seeks to keep his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall preserve it”. In other words, to be so attached to the things of this earth that we want to hang on to them more than we want heaven is to jeopardize our eternal souls. But to let go of all the things that the world values and to live in light of Jesus’ coming will result in ultimate and final salvation. It may mean hardship and suffering now, in comparison with those who are living for this life only. Like the rich man in contrast with Lazarus, they may have it good now and you may be worse off because you are not striving for those things. But when Jesus comes and God’s final judgment falls, you will be the one to preserve your life and they will lose theirs. Remember Lot’s wife! GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world and land, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.https://www.homilyhub.com/homily-friday-of-the-32nd-week-in-ordinary-time-year-ii-1/