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Wednesday Gospel Reflection: Now is the time

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Today’s Gospel would suggest that the saying ‘It’s never too late’ is actually not true.

It is a familiar Gospel passage to many of us, I am sure. We are told to keep watch because we do not know when the Master will summon us. The person whom Our Lord finds doing His work need not fear, for He will ‘set him over all his possessions’. The one who is busy stuffing his face and getting drunk will be ‘cut off’.

Are we doomed then to a life of misery absent of merriment? It may seem like it on the face of it. Let me tell you, though, why I think this is not the case.

We can fall into the ever-prevalent mindset that we cannot be happy if we follow God’s commands and the teachings of the Church, because it involves sacrifices of various sorts, which weigh us down and drain the joy out of life. I have to miss the football game on Sunday morning because of Mass, or I have to risk being unpopular among my peer group for holding particular views advocated by the Church, and the like.

And yet, the truth of the matter is that our happiness lies in living a life in God, which means following His commands and the teachings of His Mystical Body, the Church, His visible presence in the world today—an extension of the event of the Incarnation you might say. We are made for life with God and so our happiness is fundamentally rooted in Him. It is in Him that we become truly ourselves, and flourish as the person God created us to be. 

The one who lives in God, by doing what He commands, and is transformed ever more into His likeness by His grace, always has God before him. He is happy because he places God at the centre of his life where He belongs. This relationship then casts light on all of life’s activities, including eating and drinking. We eat and drink and make merry with others who are created also in God’s image. Food and drink take their appropriate places in our lives as sources of bodily nourishment and joy. Without God, eating and drinking can risk becoming idols: food and drink become our solutions in life with often tragic consequences. They can distract us and make us inattentive to God’s loving and fulfilling presence here and now.   

There will be a time when it is too late to place God at the centre of our lives. But that time is not now. We can still place God where He rightly belongs. Now is the time.

Gospel: Luke 12:39-48

Br Joseph Bailham O.P.

Br Joseph Bailham O.P.

Br Joseph Bailham is a deacon working in the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Dominic, London | joseph.bailham@english.op.org


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