The Time of Reckoning

Luke 17: 26-37
Wis 13:1-9 / Ps 19

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.
(Luke 17:33)

No one knows the day it’s coming,
The least we can do is prepare.
What our Lord today is saying:
Repent, have faith and don’t despair.

“As it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, in the days of Lot, they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building; on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the housetop, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.”

Reflection

In the days of Noah, just before the great flood came, as in the days of Lot before Sodom and Gomorrha were consumed by fire and brimstone, people were going about their lives, without thought of the impending holocaust that would come upon them. Similarly, our Lord gives us fair warning that the Great Retribution will come and be upon us when we least expect it, when most people are not prepared. Who can prevent it? With the proliferation of atomic bombs in the hands of radical states, how sure are we that we can wake up to a normal life tomorrow? Only the prudent and wise among God’s children are unperturbed and well prepared. They will not be shaken who follow the will of their Maker. But alas for those unprepared for the sudden strike of disaster.

Jesus was declaring a prophecy that calamities will strike as a matter of course. The point is, how prepared are we to meet them? Our material concerns dim our view of the real LIFE ahead, even as we know that this life is temporal. We are no different from “the birds in the air and the flowers in the field” that are there today and gone tomorrow. And yet, in a way we also differ, because we are more foolish — with all these cravings for material possessions, these aspirations for prestige and power, which are all but “chasing of the wind.” Our propensity for the best that life can offer often blunts the faint voice that calls for a more eschatological perspective. Our Lord Jesus’ fellowship should be our main objective, His Father’s will our life’s sole directive. Our Lord said, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life (only for himself) will lose it, but whoever loses it (for the sake of others) will save it” (for eternal life).

Death has surely come to those who have not found Life in Christ, even if they are still alive. No wealth, fame or power on earth can ever be more important than the promise of spending eternal bliss in God’s kingdom. Utopia in this life is an illusion, because, as 6,000 years of human history has borne out, man has never achieved happiness, prosperity, peace and all the good things in life through his own efforts. In fact, unless more people on earth come to believe that the Word of God provides the solution to an ideal world order, this planet and its civilization may soon end in a cataclysm far worse than Sodom and Gomorrha and Noah’s flood combined.

Help us, dear God, to keep Your Word always the focus of our life. Amen.

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