As the Solemnity of Christ the King draws closer, the last Sunday in Ordinary time where we contemplate the last and eternal Sunday, in today’s Gospel, like yesterday’s, Our Lord tries to prepare us for what will come dramatically, unexpectedly, and in stark contrast to the things of everyday life. It’ll be like the landfall of a hurricane where there was no weather alert or tracking radar, just the news that it would come. Today, implicitly, he gives us a list of things that won’t prepare us, as well as things that will.
He reminds us that it will not be a matter of whether we have everything at hand or not, like the person on the rooftop or in the field: at that moment the things of this world will not help us, and may even, as in the case of Lot’s wife, cause our ruin. It’s not a matter of being at a certain place at a certain time, or, at the moment, doing a certain thing, like the people in bed or grinding meal. The criteria of the Son of man won’t be what we have, where we are, or what we’re doing, because at that moment, the “game” is already over: you’ve either won or lost by the way you’ve lived your life. Some people may steal home, like the Good Thief, but any coach will tell you that’s not a good strategy for winning.
To be prepared Our Lord invites us today to be like Noah and Lot. They lived in environments completely corrupted by sin, but stayed faithful to God and unstained by the evil things of the world. God warned Noah and asked him to help for the new and fresh beginning after the flood, just as he invites us to work with him to prepare ourselves and others for eternal life. Lot was saved in part thanks to Abraham’s appeal to the Lord’s justice. Even when Lot wasn’t ready to leave, and also unaware of what was to come, the Lord sent angels to rescue him, and he was ready to leave everything behind, unlike his unfortunate wife. Lot had faith in God, so he wasn’t worried until the Lord told him to be. His wife, under pressure, revealed that she had been corrupted by her time in Sodom and it cost her life.
Although the two people in bed or the two women grinding meal on the outside seemed to be doing exactly the same thing, on the inside they were completely different: one of the pair was going through the daily routine and oblivious to God and spiritual dangers, the other, out of faith and trust in God, was not worried about God wishing evil and went through life in peace, not worried about what was to come. Let’s try to live our lives with faith and trust in God, knowing that it will bring us peace and prepare us for whatever Our Lord has in store for us.
Readings: Wisdom; Psalm 19:2–5b; Luke 17:26–37.