St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

Reading Wisdom 13:1-9
Gospel Luke 17:26-37

"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man."

To His disciples, Jesus speaks of “the Son of Man”. Regarding the Son of Man, Jesus explains that His presence is elusive, like lightning that “flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other”. Jesus downplays the desire somehow to “pin down” the Son of Man.

At the end of yesterday’s Gospel passage, Jesus spoke about this Son of Man suffering greatly and being rejected by this generation. Here Jesus is making clear how much His hearers’ expectations will be shattered. What we hope for is often not what God has in store for us. In today’s Gospel passage, we hear some of the context of “the days of the Son of Man”. The context is dire, which shouldn’t surprise us given what the Son of Man Himself suffers.

Jesus’ final words today do not seem hopeful: “‘Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.’” Yet Jesus is hopeful, of course. He is simply not hopeful for the fate of this world. Everything in this world must finally decay, so we must not be attached to such things. Our hope must be for God alone, who draws us through this world, not to it.