Fr. Scott Haynes
The Spirituality of Noah's Ark
Fr. Scott A. Haynes
A Meditation for Sexagesima Sunday
In the traditional Divine Office on Sexagesima Sunday, we hear the story of Noah’s Ark. Of course, in the Ark were found every sort of creature, all of God’s handiwork. If we compare the Church to Noah’s Ark, as St. Anthony of Padua does in his sermon for this Sexagesima Sunday, we can see how we can group all the inhabitants of the ark into three groups: 1) domestic animals, 2) birds, and 3) men. Likewise, St Anthony says we can imagine three categories of Christians in the Church: 1) married couples, 2) single persons practicing continence, and 3) consecrated souls (priests and religious).
As St. Anthony notes, in Noah’s ark the domestic animals symbolize those faithful who are married, those who are fruitful and multiply, peopling the earth with children. The married people, the families are to be good people who do works of charity and penance, giving to the poor, and injuring no one. These families are to be good people bring forth spiritual fruits thirty-fold. Today’s Epistle refers to them:
You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. (2 Cor. 11:19-20)