daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Friday, 32nd Week of the Year, November 15, 2013
Wis. 13:1-9, Ps. 18, Luke 17:26-37

"As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26-27).

Today Jesus is speaking of his second coming, when he will return on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory with all his saints in great light. This is the day we are now hoping for. Jesus tells us that this day will come suddenly and unexpectedly, and many will be unprepared. Indeed "the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, ‘There is peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape" (1 Thess. 5:2-3). This day will catch many off guard and unprepared, involved in the ordinary preoccupations of daily life, and they will have no opportunity to repent and be forgiven for their sins before they have to meet the Lord and be judged and rewarded for what they have done while in the body.

Why does Jesus teach us this? He tells us this as a warning so that we are not like the generation of Noah and Lot. And since we know neither the day nor the hour of his coming, he teaches us this so that we will always be prepared. Then, although he will come unexpectedly, we will nonetheless be prepared to meet him. Indeed, "of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only" (Matt. 24:36). "Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming ... Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matt. 24:42, 44).

We can be unprepared by being in a state of sin that we have not abandoned or that we have not confessed and been forgiven for. We do not want the Lord to catch us in such a state when he comes, and so we should avoid all sin at all times, and confess those we have. Christ came into the world the first time precisely for this, namely to forgive our sins through his death on the cross, where he made just and full reparation and satisfaction for all the sins of all who believe in him and confess them before him.

But we can also be unprepared for his coming, or for our meeting with him in death, by being preoccupied only with the ordinary things of daily life, such as eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building, marrying, and being given in marriage; without thinking of God, without praying, without offering ourselves to him, without loving him with all our heart, and without loving and serving our neighbor for the love of God. If we live like this, forgetful of God, we will be unprepared when the Lord comes, or when we meet him at death.

God expects much more of us that simply this, for this is what happened in the days of Lot. "Likewise as it was in the days of Lot--they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and brimstone rained from heaven and destroyed them all--so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17:28-30). The people of Sodom were unprepared for two reasons: because of their sins, and for forgetting God in their daily life. Are we now prepared? Have we left and confessed our sins, and do we live something more than just an ordinary daily life like everyone else?

We can live and eat together every day at the same table, but at the hour of our meeting with the Lord--whether at death, or at his coming--one of us may be taken to be with the Lord, while the other may be left for destruction. "I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other left" (Luke 17:34).

Will you be taken, or will you be left?


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