Daily Gospel Reflection: Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
Bishop Robert Barron
November 17, 2023
Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
Gospel: Lk 17:26-37
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."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus says that the days of his Second Coming will be like the days of Noah. So what went wrong in Noah’s day? The biblical answer is sin—that is to say, human dysfunction—more precisely a refusal of the great tasks that God gave to human beings. They became bad stewards of creation and bad priests, falling into ego-driven violence and the worship of false deities. The result was the flood.
But God did what he will do throughout salvation history: he sent a rescue operation. He found the one righteous man left and gave him a very peculiar assignment. Noah must have been a laughingstock, building a giant boat in the middle of the desert.
Onto the ark come representatives of all the animal species, as well as Noah and his family. Once again, we see the deeply integrated vision of the Bible. Salvation is never simply a matter of setting things right for human beings. It has implications across the whole of creation.
This is precisely why the Church Fathers saw Noah as a type of Christ and the ark of Noah as a type of the temple and of the Church.