Father Stefan Homily Notes First Sunday of Advent ‘Noah’ Imagine of Christ

Last Night was watching movie Noah. You know Russel Crow…Rock Giants.

Jesus Says in the Gospel Today. ‘As in the days of Noah people were marrying and being married up until the day Noah entered the Ark.’

We read in Hebrew (11:7) ‘By Faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen took head and constructed an ark for the saving of his household.’

The Ark is an image of the Church. We refer to the Church as the bark of Peter. The Church is a Ship. The pope is the captain of the ship. But in truth Jesus is the true captain of the ship. We read in Hebrew 2: 10 ‘ For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exists, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.’

Jesus is the Captain of Our Ship. Rest assured.

The waves are an image of the world. The Flood is an image of the world. There is a flood of secularism in our world. There is only one place we are safe and that is in the ark of the Church. That is why we listen and follow Pope Francis. We ought to desire to be in the Ark of the Church.

There was only one door into the ark. The door is an image of the wound in the side of Christ. We enter into the wound of Jesus. In the famous prayer Anima Christi we pray ‘Water from the side of Christ wash us. Passion of Christ strengthen us. Within your wounds hide me.’ When we are anxious and afraid we can find refuge in the wounds of Christ. Thomas Kempis wrote ‘If you can not soar up as high as Christ sitting on his throne. Behold him hanging on his cross. Rest in Christ’s passion and live willingly in his hold wounds.’ You enter in the ark of Christ by the wound in his open side.

The waters of the flood are an image of Baptism. When a priest blesses the water at a Baptism he prays ‘The waters of the great flood you made a sign of the waters of baptisms that made an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.’

We read in 1 Peter 3: 21 ‘ When God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.’

Scripture links the flood and Noah to Baptism. Even the symbolism of 8. If you look at many Baptismal Fonts. They often have 8 angels. 8 is an symbol of new creation. The first day of the new week. The First Day of Heaven. In Baptism we already receive the first day of eternity. The first day of heaven.

After 40 days of the flood. Noah landed on Mount Ararat. That mountain is an image of the Mountain of Heaven.

There are two sacraments of water. Baptism and Penance. We are saved by the waters of baptisms. And we are saved by the waters of penance. The waters of tears. As water washed away our sins the first time the water of penance also wash away our sins. F.X Durrwell in his book ‘In the Redeeming Christ’ writes ” Even baptism with water would have no effect is man did not associate himself personally with the mystery of Christ, ‘ You are washed’ say St Paul (1 Cor 6: 11) underlining the part man plays by immersing himself through faith and longing for salvation, in the waters of baptism. In the second baptism, there is no ‘laver of water’ (Eph 5:26) prepared for man. It is the penitent’s own actions that immerse him in Christ the Redeemer.”

Confession is the second plank of salvation. So even if you are ship wrecked. Paul was ship wrecked. He says that he was at sea for 3 days. St Paul in his ship wreck brought him to Malta. We read in Acts 27 ‘He ordered those who could swim to throw themselves overboard first and make for the land. And the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all escaped to land. After we had escaped, we then learned that island was called Malta.’

Like St Paul even is are are ship wrecked. We can still hang on the plank. And like St Paul God can bring us to the place that he intended from the beginning.

2 Comments

  1. I especially like the reference to the quote from Thomas Kempis regarding entering into the passion of Christ through the wound in His side. Sometimes we do feel as though Our beloved Lord is so high above us on His throne that He is almost unreachable but His cross is always available through His mercy to be obtained. Thanks Father for your insights. In Him who loved us first. JMJ

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