A reading from the gospel according to Luke 17:26-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
26 “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
27 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.
28 Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
29 on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
30 So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
31 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.
32 Remember the wife of Lot.
33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.
34 I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left.
35 And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left.”
37 They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.”
Reflection: The Mercy and Justice of God
Psalm 103:8 says that the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. On the other hand, Psalm 7:11 claims that God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. In other words, let us not test the limit of God’s mercy. Though He loves us very much, He also wants us to imitate Him in love. Yet we always rebel against Him by our sins. So He gives us a stern warning that our hardheadedness will have a grave consequence.
In the gospel reading above, Jesus reminds us of the time of Noah and Lot. People then did not heed the warning of God so they met their due punishment. In particular, He mentions the wife of Lot who disobeyed a simple instruction and so she turned into salt.
Jesus is calling us to repent for our sins. If we listen to Him, we shall have eternal life. However, if we continue to ignore Him and go about our usual activities of eating, drinking and sinning, then eternal death is a certainty. Like vultures that gather on dead body, the current dreadful relationships of people where one preys on another will certainly bring about destruction.
Indeed people seek to “preserve their life” by believing in the survival of the fittest or strongest. They will lose it just the same to vultures. On the other hand, if we offer our life in service to others and for the glory of God, we gain it by living in paradise for all eternity.