God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.
Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
by a human shall that person’s blood be shed;
for in his own image
God made humankind.
And you, be fruitful and multiply, abound on the earth and multiply in it.”
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Psalm 102:16-21, 28, 22
For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
and will not despise their prayer.
Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
that he looked down from his holy height,
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die;
so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
and his praise in Jerusalem,
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.
when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
The story of Noah and the Ark is a bible basic. Any person with even a touch of biblical knowledge knows this one. And why not? Cradle Catholics love Noah and the Ark. Noah and the Ark coloring books and toys are very popular for presents for babies at baptisms. Who wouldn’t want to play with the animal figurines and fit them all on the ark? Who wouldn’t enjoy coloring in and identifying each pair of animals as they line up to board the ark? Who doesn’t know the great story of the flood?
It can be difficult sometimes, with our kind-faced Noah figurines and coloring book pages, to remember that the story of the flood is incredibly dark. Humanity had become so corrupted, that the only hope of salvation of the human race was for God to destroy them all, save the one righteous man left on the earth. Obviously, something had gone terribly, terribly wrong.
So when God brought Noah and his family through the flood, he established a new order for humanity and creation. God created a covenant with Noah, a promise made before the covenant with Abraham, a promise to the entire human race and all of creation besides. When God sets his bow in the clouds, it is the sign of his promise to never destroy creation as he did just then. The way God arches that bow indicates that an arrow set in that bow would aim towards heaven. This is God’s way of saying that now the only hope of salvation is for God to take the next hit. The rainbow is God’s promise to take the fall for humanity for their sins.
When Jesus asks his disciples who he is, Peter answers that he is the Christ. Yet, in spite of this knowledge and understanding, Peter does not seem to understand what the Christ was meant to do. The anointed one was to fulfill God’s promise to Noah. Noah was the one man who lived while all others died because his righteousness found favor before the Lord. Jesus is the one man who died so that all of humanity can now be made righteous and live. As it says in the psalm: “from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die.” It is right for the story of Noah and the flood to be a bible basic, for in it, we are promised Jesus, we are promised salvation.
Prayer: O Lord, thank you for your saving grace. Thank you for the gift of yourself. Help me to always set my mind on divine things and not human things, so that I may always ponder the ways of your mercy and walk in your righteousness. Amen.