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false pleasures. The true Lover of our souls asks us to take a cross, and follow him. Hence the one comes back to Jesus in gratitude; while nine go on their way, and forget him.
LUKE XVII. 20—37
'Επερωτηθείς δε υπό των Pharisees, when the kingdom of Φαρισαίων πότε έρχεται η βασιλεία God cometh, he answered them του Θεού, απεκρίθη αυτοίς, και and said: The kingdom of God είπεν: Ουκ έρχεται η βασιλεία cometh not with observation: του Θεού μετά παρατηρήσεως. 21. Neither shall they say:
: 21. Ουδε ερoύσιν: Ιδού ώδε, Lo, here! Or: There! for lo, the ή: Εκεί: ιδού γάρ, η βασιλεία kingdom of God is within you. του Θεού εντός υμών εστίν. And he said unto the dis
Είπεν δε προς τους μαθηciples: The days will come, when τάς: Ελεύσονται ημέραι, ότε επιye shall desire to see one of the θυμήσετε μίαν των ημερών του days of the Son of man, and ye Υιού του ανθρώπου ιδείν, και ουκ shall not see it.
όψεσθε. 23. And they shall say to 23. Και έρoύσιν υμίν: 'Ιδού you: Lo, there! Lo, here! go not
εκεί: Ιδού ώδε, μή (απέλθητε, away, nor follow after them: μηδέ) διώξητε. 24.
For as the lightning, 24. "Ωσπερ γάρ ή αστραπή when it lighteneth out of the αστράπτουσα έκ της υπό τον ουρανόν, one part under the heaven, εις την υπ' ουρανόν λάμπει, ούshineth unto the other part τως έσται ο Υιός του ανθρώπου under heaven; so shall the Son (εν τη ημέρα αυτού). of man be in his day.
25. But first he must suffer 25. Πρώτον δε δει αυτόν πολ. many things and be rejected of λα παθείν, και αποδοκιμασθήναι this generation.
από της γενεάς ταύτης. 26. And as it came to pass · .
26. Και καθώς εγένετο εν ταις in the days of Noah, even so shall ημέραις Νώε, ούτως έσται και εν it be also in the days of the Son ταις ημέραις του Υιού του ανθρώof man.
27. They ate, they drank, 27. "Ήσθιον, έπινον, έγάμουν, they married, they were given έγαμίζοντο, άχρι ης ημέρας εισήλin marriage, until the day that θεν Νώε εις την κιβωτόν, και ήλ. Noah entered into the ark, and θεν ο κατακλυσμός, και απώλεσεν the food came, and destroyed πάντας, them all.
28. Likewise even as it came 28. Ομοίως καθώς εγένετο εν to pass in the days of Lot; they ταις ημέραις Λώτ: ήσθιον, έπινον,
ate, they drank, they bought, ηγόραζον, επώλουν, εφύτευον, they sold, they planted, they ωκοδόμουν. builded; 29. But in the day that
δε ημέρα εξήλθεν Lot went out from Sodom it Λώτ από Σοδόμων, έβρεξεν πύρ rained fire and brimstone from και θείον απ' ουρανού, και απώλεheaven, and destroyed them all: σεν πάντας.
30. After the same manner 30. Κατά τα αυτά έσται ή shall it be in the day that the ημέρα ο Υιός του ανθρώπου αποSon of man is revealed.
καλύπτεται. 31. In that day, he who shall 31. 'Εν εκείνη τη ημέρα, δς be on the housetop, and his έσται επί του δώματος, και τα σκεύη goods in the house, let him not αυτού εν τη οικία, μη καταβάτω go down to take them away: άραι αυτά: και ο εν αγρώ ομοίως and let him that is in the field μη επιστρεψάτω εις τά οπίσω. likewise not return back. 32. Remember Lot's wife. 32. Μνημονεύετε της γυναικός
Whosoever shall seek to 33. "Ος εάν ζητήση την ψυχήν gain his life shall lose it: but αυτού περιποιήσασθαι, απολέσει whosoever shall lose his life αυτήν: δς δ' αν απολέση, ζωογοshall preserve it.
νήσει αυτήν. 34.
I say unto you: In that 34. Λέγω υμίν, ταύτη τη νυκτί night there shall be two men έσονται δύο επί κλίνης, και εις παon one bed; the one shall be ραλημφθήσεται, και ο έτερος αφεtaken, and the other shall be θήσεται. left. shall be two
δύο άλήθουσαι women grinding together; the επί το αυτό: η μία παραλημφθήσεone shall be taken, and the ται, η δε ετέρα αφεθήσεται. other shall be left.
37. And they answering say 37. Και αποκριθέντες λέγουunto him: Where, Lord? And σιν αυτώ: Πού, Κύριε; Ο δε he said unto them: Where the είπεν αυτοίς: “Όπου το σώμα, εκεί body is, thither will the eagles και οι αετοί επισυναχθήσονται. also be gathered together.
In all the teaching of Jesus there is prominent the idea of a kingdom. Men could not understand the nature of the kingdom. . They tried to imagine it as something of this world. Even the Apostles had difficulty in forming an idea of that kingdom. Even their contention as to who should be the
greater in the new kingdom shows how crude were their ideas concerning it.
The explanation of this fact is that the kingdom of Christ was not of this world. It is with difficulty that man allies himself to a spiritual world.
Now the Pharisees had heard of this great new kingdom, and they could not conceive its nature. It is impossible to ascertain what motive prompted their question. It may have been scorn and derision, as though they considered the Lord as a false pretender. Or it may have been a desire to draw from the Messiah some knowledge concerning this great theme.
In his answer Jesus tells them that they have not the right idea of the new kingdom. All Israel expected a kingdom; but they dreamed that it should be greater in earthly glory than Solomon's. The Pharisees prompted these ambitious hopes, and also dreamed of a pre-eminence. And Jesus tells them that the new kingdom is neither visible nor local. It is a spiritual creation. It exists in Heaven, and on earth. In its earthly existence it is in the souls of men. It would have temples, rites, a sacrifice, and a priesthood; but its essence would be a spiritual creation, which would fix its habitation in the souls of men.
The Lord did not assert that his kingdom were within the Pharisees, in the sense that the new creation were in their individual souls. Their false and wicked souls admitted not the spiritual kingdom of Christ. The Lord's meaning is that his kingdom is not like the kingdom of this world, whose glory the eyes of men can see; but his kingdom is spiritual, and fixes its earthly habitation in the souls of men. It was even then upon earth, for its author, from whom it derives its being, was dwelling among men. And so to-day the mighty powers of this kingdom are operating upon earth, and men are oblivious thereof. Foolish mortals make a great clamor with this world, as though it were the only world that exists; and yet this world will pass away, and the invisible world of Christ remains forever.
We should accustom our souls to think spiritually, so that by habit we easily lift ourselves into the contemplation of that spiritual world, which alone is worthy of the thought and the labor of a man.
The Lord next directs his discourse to the disciples, and declares to them that the days should come, when they would desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and they should not see it. This prediction has the customary obscurity of prophecy. It relates to the interval between the Ascension of Jesus and his second coming. The length of that interval no man or no angel can tell. In general it is a time of persecution. Many times in the awful persecutions through which the Church passed, she lifted up her voice in pleading that the Lord might come.
But he came not. He allowed his elect to suffer and to die, because the mystery of human suffering must serve as the preparation for the perfect life in the new kingdom.
The Lord next speaks of his second coming, telling them that it will be as sudden as the lightning. Wherever the second coming of Jesus is spoken of in Holy Scripture its awful suddenness is described. Nothing in nature could so aptly illustrate this event as the lightning, that lights up the whole heavens in an instant. Christ warns men not to believe any one who shall say that Christ is come in his second coming. This warning simply impressed more vividly the idea that his coming would be sudden.
The new kingdom would not be fully inaugurated until that day. It is now in a process of growth and formation. Before that day, must come first the suffering and death of Jesus; and then the ages of the world's life, ages of the world's predominance, and of the Church's suffering. The line stretches out far; but yet it has an end. The earth and the sea are full of waiting dead; but the promise of Jesus shall not fail. Ages more may come, ages of ages, but the course is finite, and the end must come.
It is the world's greatest day. It may be to-morrow; it may be distant a million years. Men are not thinking of it now; and according to Christ's prediction, they will not be thinking of it when it comes.
The flood came upon an incredulous and unexpecting world; Sodom was engaged in its secular pursuits, when the rain of fire and brimstone came upon them, and destroyed them all. And in the same manner the Son of God shall come suddenly upon an unexpecting world. This state of mind is born of unbelief. The first sin of man is unbelief. He puts these things aside into the realm of mystery, and turns to the things that he considers realities, the world and its creatures. He turns away from the eternal realities to pursue after shadows, and there he will be found even on the last day of the world's life, pursuing after shadows.
When Lot and his wife and two daughters were fleeing from Sodom, the angels said unto them: “Look not behind thee.” This was a test of their faith. All their possessions were burning in the doomed city, and naturally they felt the sense of loss in their destruction. This moved the wife of Lot to look behind her, and she became a pillar of salt (Gen. XIX. 17–26.).
Now the Lord teaches men that such attachment to the things of earth will be equally deadly in the last day. To aid man to conceive a salutary fear of that day he likens it to a sudden catastrophe that comes upon men so suddenly that they flee from the spot without regard to any of their goods. These goods are of no use to man any more. He must appear before God in another world, while these earthly goods pass through that awful change whose nature is sunk in mystery.
All these things are said to relax man's hold on the things that enslave his soul. Why should he so tenaciously hold to things which at any instant he might be called to leave, and which at some definite instant he inevitably must leave?
The thirty-third verse has been fully explained in our Commentary of its parallel passages Matt. X. 39; Mark VIII. 35.
The Lord next proceeds to portray graphically the terrible discrimination of the elect from the reprobate. Two men are sleeping on one bed. The lightning of Jesus' coming flashes, and one man is taken up to meet Jesus, and to be with him forever; the other is left in hell.
The Vulgate adds the example of two men in the field, of whom one is taken with the elect; the other is left with the reprobate. This sentence is not found in the great uncial codices. D and U have it, and also Tatian's Diatessaron, the Syriac versions, and the Armenian version. We believe that