A Gospel Patterned Preparation

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”
(Luke 17:26-37)

Scripture Study

17:26 the days of Noah A time of judgment, when humanity was destroyed by the flood due to its depravity (Gen 6:5–8).

17:28 the days of Lot Another reference to divine judgment, when the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed due to their wickedness (Gen 19:23–29).

17:30 So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed Throughout the passage, Jesus is comparing His future return in glory to the divine judgment carried out in the days of Noah and Lot (vv. 26, 28). The Son of Man’s revealing will be characterized by destruction of evil and salvation of believers—factors that associate Jesus’ return with the Day of Yahweh envisioned by OT prophets (see Joel 1:15).

17:32 Remember the wife of Lot Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt for disobeying the angel’s command to not look back (Gen 19:17, 26).

17:33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life Luke records Jesus making a similar statement during His ministry in Galilee (Luke 9:24).

17:37 there also the vultures will gather Jesus’ statement here might reflect a known proverb of His day. In the same way that circling birds signal the presence of a corpse, there will be discernible signs that point to impending divine judgment and Jesus’ return in glory.

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in today’s Gospel passage the Lord compares the clueless behavior of our time with that of Noah. Listen to his warning: “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The coming of the Son of Man will repeat what happened in Noah’s time.'” Those aren’t very reassuring words.

Then he specifies: people were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage right up to the time of the flood. And then, when it came with shocking suddenness, they were destroyed. The end of an old world had arrived, but the inhabitants of that world were clueless. A new world was coming, but the prospective citizens of it had no idea how to prepare for it.

Our version of Noah’s world-destroying flood might be the crashing of a huge comet into the earth. What if we knew that a comet was coming, but we did nothing about it, we adjusted in no way to it? This was the situation of those in Noah’s time and, Jesus suggests, those in his own time. And it’s our situation, too. We must prepare for the Lord’s coming by patterning our lives on the Gospel.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.