Wednesday, November 10, 2010

If Today you hear his voice ...

Thirty Third Ordinary Sunday Year C

There is a story of a Jewish man who went to seek the advice of a famous Jewish Rabbi. The man asked the Rabbi: - “Please tell me – when will the Messiah come?” The Rabbi paused for a moment and then answered: “Today”. The man was so excited and anxious that he ran home immediately. He began to settle all his debts – those which he owed, he paid back and for those people who owed him money, he canceled their debts. He sold off his wealth and donated it to the poor. He made his rounds apologizing to the people whom he had hurt. He had been so busy doing all these things that he had forgotten that the day had passed so quickly and by the time he was aware of it, it was already evening. And so he waited and waited. Nothing happened. He continued waiting into the middle of the night. And still nothing happened. Then, he began to laugh at his own stupidity. Perhaps, he had misunderstood the words of the Rabbi and had been too rash. At the same time, joy was bubbling out from him. For the first time in his life, he felt absolutely free – free of debts, free of having to carry the burden unforgiveness, free of worrying about his property and wealth. In a way, the Messiah had come into his life and it was now entirely changed.

The Psalmist tells us: “If TODAY you hear his voice, harden not your hearts…”

In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that “the time is near at hand.” This does not mean that the world is going to end and that he will come again for the final judgment. Jesus is trying to explain the need for every disciple to make an important decision in their lives. The ‘Today’ refers to the time for making that decision. This decision cannot be delayed till tomorrow. This decision cannot be delayed until we are old. This decision cannot be delayed till the world ends or when we know that we are about to die.

This decision must be made TODAY! And what is this decision. This decision is the commitment to follow Jesus and proclaim the good news of the kingdom. It is not an easy decision, as Jesus himself explains. Many people will reject us and ridicule us. The world and modern society will call us fools. Even our own family members may reject us for this decision. But this decision cannot be delayed till tomorrow or the day after or next month or even next year. This decision cannot be delayed until everyone else changes. The decision calls for personal change today. It is you who must change. It is we who must change. We cannot wait for others to change.

But where do we find the strength to make such a heavy decision? It is faith and hope. Faith allows us to see that although we may seem to lose many things if we decide to follow Jesus, we will still come out the richer. Our riches comes in many forms – freedom from sin and worries, being able to sleep soundly at night with a clear conscience. Hope, on the other hand, allows us to recognize the faithful love of God and that He will not abandon us to our sufferings. At the end, good will triumph over evil and the world will be remade again.

But till the world is remade again, we are the ones who need to change. Let us start from today by making a fresh start. Let us recommit ourselves to Jesus for he is coming into our lives TODAY!

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