The Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour; really, is he? What may be coming is an unexpected life event, like that of the flood. We know Matthew frames his gospel through the lens of fulfillment of the Old Testament. Our task now, is to understand that fulfillment in the context of our lives today. The text says, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” (Matthew 24.44) And he did, Jesus came not only at an unexpected time but an unexpected place. A place not of privilege, or wealth, or high education, but a place of humility. He came in the midst of people’s lives, the people that needed him most. Jesus came to be in solidarity with us, and so what does that mean for us today?
In this reading from Matthew, we hear about how Noah and how the people around him were living their everyday, ordinary lives up until the point he enters the ark. We know from the Genesis story about Noah’s ark, that the people were living their lives in a way that was abhorrent to God. Likely thinking that God was external to them, living as though God was some distant God that may come, some day, and judge them on how they lived. And we all know how that story goes, out of sight, out of mind. The typical message we hear from this parable in Matthew is to make sure we are prepared, that we are living our lives in preparation for judgment. Yet, the story has changed now that salvation is available to us all, as the Old Testament has been satisfied.
Now the narrative needs to be about how we live our lives knowing that God is here. Where do we find God, and how do we recognize God once we find him? This is what Jesus came to reveal to us, he told us exactly where to find God. We see God in those on the margins; in fact, we should see him in everyone if we are looking, including in ourselves. But when we see God in those that have less than we do, we have an opportunity for a new perspective. A perspective that is necessary to understand what God wants of us. We have been given the gift of incarnation, God is here working through the trinity to support us in our daily lives. How will we recognize that, and what will we do with it?
What if we are supposed to lose the comfortable everyday lives we are living? The Scripture reads, “…they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away…” (Matthew 24.39) Will we allow ourselves to be swept away? Will we let ourselves see God in our lives and let him obliterate life as we know it, like he did with the flood? Will we then let him in to help us live the lives he wants for us? “Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.” (Matthew 24.41) I think we assume that the woman taken, is the one that lost out, yet maybe we aren’t seeing this right, maybe that is the whole point, to be swept away into a life with God. Maybe by staying awake to watch our house we are guarding our lives against the thief that is God, that wants to come in and steal our hearts.
By Serena Shaw
Vocation Team – Oblate Associate
Phone: (780) 231-3066