Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
“Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns the disciples to stay attentive and to be prepared for the coming of the Son of Man. To communicate the importance of his warning, he references the famous Old Testament narrative concerning the Flood in “the days of Noah.” How much do you remember about the Flood? Have you ever wondered, “What precipitated the Flood?” In other words, what caused it to happen in the first place?
According to the biblical account, “When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose” (Genesis 6:1). It seems that “sons of God” is a reference to the righteous line of Seth (Genesis 5:3), and “daughters of men” is a reference to the wicked line of Cain, the murderer (Genesis 4:10). Then the narrative continues, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6). God regretted making man because all the righteous men were choosing pretty girls over God and allowing them to pull their hearts away from God, thereby making women their gods and idols. So, the Lord God decided to flood the earth and all were wiped out except one man.
Only Noah and his family were saved from the Flood. But why him? What was so special about Noah? It’s quite simple: Noah was not influenced by the godless culture of his time. Rather, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). No one but Noah and his family knew what God was planning to do. And that is because only Noah and his family were God-fearing people.
You can imagine what life was like leading up to the Flood. People were living by the motto, “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (Isaiah 22:13). Well, they were right. But St. Paul warns us, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’ Come to your right mind and sin no more” (1 Corinthians 15:33-34). You want to be prepared and ready to meet God since death can take you at any moment—just ask the men in the field and the women at the mill.
Do not give in to our current godless culture, but learn to fear God as Noah did and put Him first in your life. In your silent prayer today, ask for the grace to “stay awake”, to stay vigilant and to watch for the coming of Christ.