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)
Today’s Gospel directs us to the end times as well as the uncertainty of life. It is highlighted, not to frighten us, but to keep us focused and ready to meet our Creator.
It presents us with an invitation to serious reflect on how we are living our own lives. After all, we are all going to die. The question is how are we living? Jesus has been revealed, is being revealed and will be fully revealed. What difference does that truth make in the way we are living our everyday lives, and in how we are using time?
Two thousand years ago the ancient Greek writer, Seneca, wrote: “It is not that we have so little time, but that we have wasted so much of it”
In that context, Jesus presents us with an apparent paradox. Trying to save your life will be the cause of you losing it, but losing your life will be the way you save it. What does this mean?
Basically, if we try to direct our lives and our future by our own effort, things will not work out. By calling us to “lose” our life, Jesus is telling us that we must abandon ourselves to Him. Now “abandoning” our life to another is a negative thought in the American culture. After all, isn’t this “the land of the free?” Doesn’t the American culture expect and reward us to be independent, self-sufficient and ever strong? When carried to the point where our ego is the ego-in-chief, it is all wrong and contra to everything that Jesus Christ taught.
We are to trust Jesus and ask him to guide us into doing those things that are consistent with His holy will. This is the only way to save our life. We save it by letting go of our own will and letting God take over.
This level of trust and surrender is very difficult at first. It’s difficult to come to the level of complete trust in God. But if we can do just that, we will be amazed at the fact that God’s ways and plan for our life is far better than we could ever come up with on our own. His wisdom is beyond compare and His solution to all our concerns and problems is perfect.
That is why the Lord prayed that “we are in the world, but do not belong to this world” (Jn 17: 15). The life of a follower of Christ is marked by detachment from much of worldly distractions and vain glory and separation from sinful ways and evil tendencies.
Listen to the everyday dialogue around you today – especially in the United States. How much of it deals with helping and loving one another? How much of it focuses on the act of self- giving to others? How much of it is positive and uplifting? Is any of it directed toward helping you grow in the ways and teachings of Jesus Christ? Toward helping you live your life as His follower?
The choices we make now – for or against Christ – will either lead us on the path of life or death – heaven or hell. Nothing could be clearer.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, I give You my life, my cares, my concerns and my future. I trust You in all things. I surrender all. Help me to trust You more each day and to turn to You in complete abandonment. Jesus, I trust in You
As we consider the timeline of God’s unfolding plan, the redemption of the whole cosmos, the God who gives and governs time, invites us to re-dedicate ourselves to living differently, in time. We are to live as though time really does matter. We are invited by grace to give ourselves away for others; to imitate the One who gave Himself for the entire human race. We are invited to pour ourselves out as Jesus did. If we live life this way, when we face Him on that final day, we will do so with our arms full of gifts borne over time. These gifts will have paved the way for eternity.