Gospel: Lk 17:26-37
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be on the day the Son of Man comes. In those days people ate and drank and got married; but on the day Noah entered the ark, the flood came and destroyed them all. So it was in the days of Lot: people ate and drank, and bought and sold, and planted and built; but on the day Lot left Sodom, God made fire and sulfur rain down from heaven, which destroyed them all. So will it be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, if you are on the rooftop, don’t go down into the house to get your belongings; and if you happen to be in the fields, do not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever gives his life will be born again.
I tell you, though two men are sharing the same bed, it might happen that one will be taken, and the other left; though two women are grinding meal together, one might be taken and the other left.”
Then they asked Jesus, “Where will this take place, Lord?” And he answered, “Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.”
St. Martin, the saint we remember today, is special in many respects. First, he was of pagan origin and was born around the year 316 in present-day Hungary. His father being a soldier in the Roman army, Martin was forced by law to enroll at the age of 15. He then became a Christian catechumen and was baptized at 18. But he lived more like a monk than a soldier, refusing to kill enemies as a conscientious objector.
While stationed near Amiens, on a bitterly cold night he met a beggar almost naked and trembling from the cold. Not having any money, Martin took his sword, cut his military cloak in half and gave one half to the beggar. That night Christ appeared to him in a dream, wearing the half-cloak Martin had given to the beggar. And he heard Christ say: “Martin, still a catechumen, has covered me with this garment.”
Martin finally succeeded in getting discharged from the army. Eventually he became a monk and was tricked into becoming the bishop of Tours. As a bishop and always a lover of peace, he fought against the custom of putting heretics to death. He died in 397.