A Reading for today

Friday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

Lk 17:26-37.

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, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person 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."


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Reflection

The ark of the Church

Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian

Homilies on Genesis, II, 3

Insofar as the lowliness of my soul allows, I think the flood that almost brought the world to an end at that time is the symbol of the world's ending, an ending that must come about in reality. Our Lord himself said so when he said: “In the days of Noah 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... So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.» In this text it really seems the Lord is describing at one and the same time the flood that has already taken place and the end of the world he is declaring for the future. And so, in former times, Noah was told to make an ark and bring into it not just his sons and relatives but animals of every kind. In the same way, at the consummation of time, the Father told our Lord Jesus Christ, our new Noah, he who alone is Good and Blameless (Gn 6:9), to have an ark of wood made and to give it measurements that are full of divine mysteries (cf Gn 6:15). This is shown in a psalm that says: “Ask, and I shall give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession» (Ps 2:8). So he built an ark with all sorts of shelters in which to take the various animals. A prophet speaks of these living quarters when he writes: “Go, my people, enter your chambers, hide yourselves for a brief moment until the wrath is past” (Is 26:20). For in fact there is a mysterious correspondence between the people who are saved in the Church and the creatures, both men and animals, who were saved in the ark from the flood.

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