Thursday, October 20, 2016

PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS


Homily for October 21st, 2016: Luke 12:54-59.

          In today’s short gospel reading, just six verses in Luke’s gospel, Jesus expresses his disappointment, bewilderment, and sorrow that people who know how to read the signs of the time in worldly matters are clueless when it comes to judging spiritual signs, which are far more important.

“When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that is going to rain. . . When you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say it is going to be hot.” Jesus’ examples are as up-to-date as the morning newspaper. So is his challenging question: Why, then, can you not see, Jesus asks in effect, that my presence, and my words, require a response.    

          No less up-to-date is Jesus’ example from the law courts. If you are entangled in a legal dispute, he says, beware of pressing the matter for decision before third parties -- a judge and jury. That could turn out very badly for you. Try, if you can, to reach a settlement with your opponent before the matter comes to trial. Good lawyers continue to give this advice to their clients today.

          How easy it is to delay our response to the Lord, especially when we are young. I’ll deal with that later, we tell ourselves. Right now I want to get on with my life, to live it up! None of us knows how much time we have left. The only time we ever truly have is the present time, right now. The Lord looks for our response to him today, not sometime in the future. And the response he seeks can be expressed in one short word: Yes.

“Yes, Lord, I believe in you; I trust you; I want you in my life – and at the center of my life. You alone can give me the happiness I seek, and true joy. Come then, dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart; fill me with your love, your joy. Then I shall be truly happy, and desire nothing more -- when I am living completely for you, and for you alone. Amen.”