It’s Time To Love God
07 August 2022, 19th Sunday of the Ordinary Time
Lk 12: 32-48
Let me begin with a story. Once a newly assigned devil was explaining his strategy to a veteran. Proudly, he said, “My plan is to convince them that there is no God.” The senior devil said, “That will not work. All they have to do is to look around and even beyond earth and they’ll know that there is God.” Then, the neophyte devil said, “Plan B. I will convince them that there is no devil.” The veteran devil replied, “Well, that could be promising. But seeing so many problems around them, they will know that the devil exists.” There was a silence. Until the senior devil proposed to the younger devil, “Do not convince them that there is no God and there is no devil. Just tell them, ‘There is no need to hurry. That will bring them to hell.’”
We all have the tendency to procrastinate. This attitude is not just anti-progress in work and in the corporate world. The readings of today proclaim that procrastination is anti-faith. If we don’t feel the urgency to put our faith into action, particularly by doing good deeds, we will miss the opportunity to meet Christ. We might be too attached to the nostalgia of the past and even to excited for the future. But isn’t it that today is so precious? As the saying goes, “The past is a history. The future is a mystery. But today is a gift.” No wonder that the “present” is a present, a gift. What are the Lord’s invitations for us?
First, let us always be reminded that we are children of the light. If many of us are miserable because of so many problems around us, God has given us the best gift, faith. Faith is the light of our lives. The 1st Reading, two things are in contrast: the “night” and the “day”. The author of the book of Wisdom tells us that even at night, light still shines by those holy children of good people. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us to always have our lamps lit as if we are waiting for our Master to come. Faith is not just a noun to be defined and described. Faith is an action word. No matter how little that light of faith, it still shines. But when we gradually pass on that light to others, little by little, a dark room is filled by much light that shines so brightly. In other words, when we put our faith into action, darkness is conquered.
Second, faith is always connected with love. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” It is very easy to say, “Praise the Lord! I love you, Lord! I give myself to you, Lord” but it is very difficult to love our neighbors. If God has a special place in our hearts, we open our hearts to others who, like us, bear His image and likeness. If we hold so dear our faith, that is, our relationship with God, then, we are challenged to translate our faith into works of goodness, of justice and of peace.
In the 2nd Reading, the author of the letter to the Hebrews presents to us Abraham as the father of faith. His faith is alive because he obeyed God. His relationship with God extends to others when Abraham showed kindness and hospitality to three strangers who visited them and when he begged the Lord to be patient and merciful to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. When His faith was put to test by offering his own son, Isaac, Abraham never hesitated to give what God has given him and his wife. Yes, Abraham struggled but Abraham surrendered. Such was Abraham’s heart; so full of God.
Third, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1) In the Gospel, Jesus emphasizes the urgency of being prepared all the time. This is the right attitude that servants should have as they wait for the coming of their Master. As Christians who bear the light of faith, the Lord Jesus is telling us today to have oil that can be used for our lamps to keep lighted in season and in out of season. If light points to faith, love is faith in action, hope is our oil that makes us always ready. Urgency needs preparedness.
How can we cultivate hope? First, let us be thankful. If everything is seen as grace, we live in grace and we become graces to others. Second, let us delight in other’s goodness. We have different talents and skills. Sometimes, our pride kills our capacity to hope because we insist that we are better than others. But if we see goodness in others, no matter how small and simple, we all have the reason to move forward. Don Bosco said, “If we see goodness in others, then we begin to love.” Finally, let us not waste time in being good, in being kind and in being loving. One time, a man was captivated by the beauty of a woman. So, he approached the beautiful lady. He wanted to ask her name but thought of asking another question just to begin a conversation. And so, he asked the beautiful lady, “Hello! What time is it?” The beautiful lady replied, “It is time to love God.”
I started this homily with a story about two devils having a conversation. There’s so much evil not only because evil multiples exponentially but because good people are afraid to do what is right and just. We need to be courageous in responding to the Gospel call. Our oil for our lamps is hope. The light that shines is faith. When our hope and faith are translated into good actions, they all point to love. Since faith, hope and love plus time are gifts, nothing should be wasted. Why? Like the beautiful lady, our day-to-day response is this, “It is time to love God.” Amen.
Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.