“Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.’ And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.” (Gen 7: 1-5)
This passage from Genesis is read today in my church, on Tuesday of the third week of Lent. I am reminded of Noah’s ark, which is traditionally seen to prefigure the Church. We survive the turbulent waters of our journey to salvation by “going in,” again and again, being gathered into the community, healing, and restoration that are continuously offered in grace-filled, ecclesial reality. And then we come out, again and again, to offer new life to our world.
In the context of our 40-day Lent, I am reminded of the “forty days and forty nights” of the Great Flood, during which God “blots out” that which needs to be blotted out in me, and left behind. Today let me once again embrace Lent’s great “flood” of gifts, offered to me in Tradition, so I can “come out” renewed, into the light that is coming at the end of this 40-day period.