The Time of Reckoning

Luke 17: 26-37
2Jn 4-9 / Ps 119

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

No one knows when the end it’s coming,
The best that we can do is prepare.
What Jesus Christ today is saying:
Repent, have faith and never despair.

“Just 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 being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions 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 their life will lose it, and whoever loses their 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 there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” (Luke 17:26-37)

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 unaware of the impending doom that would befall them. Similarly, our Lord has given fair warning that it will come, but the Great Retribution will be upon us when we least expect it, when most people are not prepared. Death is as inevitable as the vultures that will gather above it. So “why are dust and ashes so proud? Even during life the body decays. A slight illness – the doctor jests; a king today—tomorrow he is dead” (Sir.10:9-10). So why are we so self-assured and confident about our status in life? The book of Sirach continues: “The beginning of pride is stubbornness in withdrawing the heart from one’s Maker” (Sir.10:12). Only the prudent and wise among God’s children are unperturbed and well prepared. They will not be shaken who follow the will of God. Those who will be taken did not prepare for the disaster.

Jesus was declaring a prophecy that calamities will always strike as a matter of course. The thing is, how prepared are we to meet them? Our propensity for the best that life can offer often drowns the faint voice that points to a more sublime existence. Our material concerns dim our view of the real LIFE ahead, even as we know that this life is quite temporal and easily corrupted. Are we any different from “the birds in the air and the flowers in the field” that are there today and gone tomorrow? In a way we are, 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 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).

Like the flood in the time of Noah, or the fire and brimstone of Sodom, unexpected, as in Gomorrha, the time of Great Reckoning will come. 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.

Help us, dear God, to keep in focus Your Word for us today. Amen.

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