First Reading: Is 2:1-5; Psalm: 122. R. v. 1; Second Reading: Rom 13:11-14; Gospel: Mt 24:37-44



Noah's flood: did something similar happened in the Mediterranean 5.33  Million years ago? – THE SALTGIANT FELLOWSHIP

Jesus began the gospel of today in a comparative style. He referenced the days of Noah as a relative example to his own approaching day. This gives us the hint that for us to understand the days of the Son of Man, we have to first of all understand the days of Noah. So, what exactly happened in the days of Noah? What are the lessons therein?

In the days of Noah, it sounded unreasonable to the people that God was going to destroy the world with a flood. Noah’s prophecy about the impending flood was a considerable nonsense to the judgment of the people. The people watched Noah in utter ridicule as he built the ark. They didn’t see the need to help Noah in constructing a “useless” ark that has nothing to do with their well being. Apparently, those who eventually built the ark were manual labourers who worked for the money to sustain their splurge living.

In due course, the ark was completed. Noah didn’t ask for an entrance fee which would have been a considerable excuse for the poor who would not afford to enter. Everyone was granted a free pass. But unfortunately, not everyone accepted the offer. Because the people could not imagine leaving behind their eating, drinking and marrying to be trapped inside a boat for a reason that is not reasonable or practicable. For there were no obvious signs of a flood happening. Generally, human beings are more liable to believe things when they hope on certain possibilities they can see but have not yet received. Our subscription to latent hope is very poor. A fertile couple for instance believe they stand every possible chance of conception than a couple medically pronounced infertile.

So, for the people in the days of Noah, if there were no glimmer of hope, no clear sign of imminent danger, then believing that their world would be destroyed by flood was absolute gibberish. But suddenly, the signs began to unfold. The rains came unstopped. And the waters began to mount up. And the people suddenly began to see feasible signs of Noah’s prophecy. But then it was too late. The door was already shut and the ark floating away.

In life, when we wait to see signs before we act, it might just be too late. We don’t need to wait for signs to accept or prepare for certain obvious realities. We don’t need to fail to plan how to succeed. We don’t need to have a child to learn how to be a good parent. We don’t need to grow old to realise how we have been wasting our opportunities. We don’t need to fall sick to realise how good health can easily fail. And we don’t need to attend a funeral to discover how fleeting life is.

A dying old man told his son that the most painful part of life is when it is late to realise we are late. Because in times like this, we do not feel regret but misery. Missed chances can be as painful as dying especially when those unutilised chances are the reason we are facing our present predicaments. Jesus wants to spare us from this misery. And so he warns us today to learn from the days of Noah and stay awake. But how exactly can we stay awake?

Today, Christ is the ark of our salvation and the Church is the visible sign of his presence. It was on a mountain that Christ established his Church. For on the hills of Calvary the sacrifice for our salvation was offered. A sacrifice that is one and the same with the Holy Mass. So, the prophecy of Isaiah in the first reading of today is an obvious invitation to everyone to stream towards the temple of God; to enter this Holy Ark established by God himself to teach us his ways. The ways of justice, love and peace. It is in this ark that we can learn how to stay awake and be safe. It is still in this ark that we can learn how to put on the armour of light and conduct ourselves properly as in the day.

So, as we begin today the first Sunday of advent, we are privileged to be counted among those who entered this Holy Ark, the temple of God. And as we listened to God, we can hear him instructing us in the second reading on how to stay awake as we await his coming. By not indulging in carousing and drunkenness, sexual immorality and debauchery, dissension and jealousy. These were the sins that blinded the people in the days of Noah. And so the Lord wants us to be wary of them lest we miss out just like these people.

Soon after this Holy Mass, we shall all stream out of this temple to continue on our daily activities. Please, let us remember these words of St Paul calling us to put on the armour of light and conduct ourselves properly as in the day. These words are a reminder to us to adhere to the teachings and instructions we have received from this house of prayer. Staying vigilant in this ways should be a daily affair. Advent is just a season to awaken this consciousness. And living by this consciousness is the surest way to prevent the misery of a failed chance.


Lord Jesus, as we await your coming, we pray for the grace to stay awake in holiness and good deeds. Amen.


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