Reading 1 Genesis 6 :5-8, 7 :1-5,10
When the LORD saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth,
and how no desire that his heart conceived
was ever anything but evil,
he regretted that he had made man on the earth,
and his heart was grieved.
So the LORD said:
“I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created,
and not only the men,
but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I made them.”
But Noah found favor with the LORD.
Then the LORD said to Noah:
“Go into the ark, you and all your household,
for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just.
Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs,
a male and its mate;
and of the unclean animals, one pair,
a male and its mate;
likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs,
a male and a female,
and of all the unclean birds, one pair,
a male and a female.
Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.
Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth
for forty days and forty nights,
and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth
every moving creature that I have made.”
Noah did just as the LORD had commanded him.
As soon as the seven days were over,
the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
And so it goes…the ways of man, and his inclinations toward wickedness and evil. It is the story of mankind from the very inception of our creation. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had everything one could ever imagine…and still….that unquiet stirring of freewill demanded more…then pride set in…allowing man and woman to be deceived by the forked tongue lies of the evil one…with the promise of equality…he set his trap, and with the promise that they could be gods themselves, he reeled them in...It is the same story throughout history…by the time Noah came along, God had had enough of man and his wicked ways…
He called on Noah to build an ark out of wood and gather his family and all animals from the earth and prepare to ride out the rough days of endless rain in the shelter of that giant ark.
In this short passage we don’t get the full story…the forty days of endless rain, the olive branch, the dove and finally the rainbow covenant God shared with us; No, with this particular passage, we encounter God’s disappointment with man and man’s wickedness. God has found only one man to be truly just in all the lands… can you imagine?… Only one.. Noah must have felt a great responsibility to do what God asked of him. It was a tremendous undertaking, but he worked hard and kept his faith in the Lord…He prepared his family for what lie ahead, with a steadfastness and loyalty to God.
As Catholics, we can see how Noah is a pre-figuration of Jesus Christ. God sees the wickedness of the world and uses a just man to save them. First, He used Noah, and then, because He loves mankind so much, He even sent His only Begotten Son…to save us again. We can also see the ark as a pre-figuration of the Holy Catholic Church. Like a giant ark, the Holy Mother Church, floats upon the unsteady waters of the earth, offering refuge for mankind in the turbulence of the uncertain world.It is quite amazing when you can see the parallels between the Old Testament and the New, And even more amazing to see just how much God loves us…
St. Augustine wrote “in the symbol of the flood, from which the righteous were saved in the ark, the future Church is prophesied. She saves from death in this world through Christ and the mystery of the Cross”. He goes on to add ” Those who were saved in the ark represent the mystery of the future Church, which is saved from disaster by the wood of the cross.”
After reading that, it’s no wonder why St. Augustine is a Doctor of the Church…what a beautiful way to make it easier for us to understand just how much God loves each of us. First, by saving man with Noah and an ark…and then by Jesus… the Cross…and the Church. We must realize that God had given the people of Noah’s time, just as must patience as He has given us today…and yet, like them, we keep on sinning…keep turning away from the Truth that God’s Holy Church has set before us…We keep allowing that unquiet freewill of ours to convince us that the Truth is not the Truth anymore. We allow our egos to run rampant with our prideful natures. We keep telling ourselves more and more lies…
Its ‘anything goes’, these days…people marching around…actually; parading around with ‘rainbow pride’…and obscene gestures… not even recognizing how their actions are repulsive in nature, and contrary to the very God who created us…We don’t even recognize our own wickedness… we have convinced ourselves that we are somehow better off without God’s law… we have eaten from the tree of knowledge and we are our own “equality.” We have decided that we have the right to choose who lives…who dies…We have replaced the innocent Lamb…with a golden calf….and we can’t even recognize the impending storms of ruin….that will come like the storms of rain that washed away the sins of man…in Noah’s time. We must pray for our country…for our lack of faith. We must also pray for the courage to love those who spit at us and curse us. We must be like those saints before us and lift the heavy cross that God is placing on each of us…to stand strong in the Faith.
Dear Lord, please help us in our day to day lives to listen to your commands, even when the rest of the world is denying the Truth you revealed to us through the Holy Bible and the Holy Mother Church. Help us, Dear Lord, to be like Noah and do whatever Your Will is, for us. Amen.