RICH OR ROMANTIC!: A HOMILY ON TUESDAY, 31ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR II, IBADAN
I once watched a comedy where the comedian was advising women. He said women must make up their mind if they want a rich husband or a romantic husband. He insist that they cannot find both qualities in the same man. He said rich men are usually very busy and they have little or no time to play around. Even while they are playing, the phone could ring and depending on who is on the line, the fun can be cut short, and he will remind the wife that it is all for the good of the family. This is the origin of the saying ‘If you dont want a broke man, you re gonna have to put up with a busy man.’
Sometimes he is out and he is too busy to answer his calls.
In our first reading today, we are told to have the mind of Jesus, who though he was God, emptied himself of his Godhead and became one of us, even to the point of death on a cross. The key word here is the greek word Kenosis, which is the self-emptying of Jesus. Sometimes we are so full that God can no longer bless us. You cannot give a gift to someone whose hands are full. He/she will be unable to recieve it, no matter how willing they are to recieve it.
Let us reflect on the virtue of diligence. The virtue of diligence, like all virtues work through the middle. It has two extremes that should be avoided. One extreme is the deadly sin of Sloth. Sloth is a spiritual kind of laziness. It is that laziness which makes us very hardworking with less spiritual things, but as soon as it has to do with spiritual things, we suddenly become too weak to do anything. Sloth should be avoided. Yet, there is another extreme, which is what our readings today focus on. We can call it workerholism or business.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us why so many people will not go to heaven. The simple answer is that they are too busy. If you organize any party, your rich guests will only come briefly. Then they will tell you they have other engagements. We thank them by saying ‘Thank you for making out time, out of your busy schedule, to come’. In fact, it is a complement to have a busy schedule, because it shows you are really important. So, those who have no busy schedule would have to create one so that they will join other great met who all have busy schedules. People would always phone me and say something like ‘I know you must be very busy’, and that makes me feel good. You know, I am really busy.
This is the very reason why these invited guests turned down the invitation. They were very busy. The first one speaks of the field he just bought, and the other the yoke of oxen he had bought, and the last one spoke of new wife. Then the householder told the servants to go into the streets and invite the poor and maimed and blind and lame. These people are disabled in one way or another. Today we dont like to call them disabled, so we call them people living with disabilities or we call them special people or whatever. Well, the fact that they are DISABLED in one way has made them ENABLED in another way. Their disablities gave them the ability to honor the invitation.
This month, as we relect on the virtue of prayer, we also reflect on al the things that make us too busy to pray. Even as a priest, sometimes I can be too busy doing the work of God that I dont have time for the God of the work. Our parishes are full of people who like to run around trying to get things done and they hardly have time to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; they hardly have quality time for personal prayer. Even when we gather for mass, sometimes we can be too busy trying to organize things for the mass and to make sure everything is in order that we miss out on the very mass itself. Those who experience this the most are people like altar servers, urshers, ministers of hospitality, etc.
A woman may aspire to be married to a very rich man, but in her days of loneliness, she would prefer he had more free time. When was the last time you had time to just sit and relax with your family? When was the last time you had time to look at yourself? When was the last time you had time to just play? Most importantly, when was the last time you had time to pray? It is good to be diligent with your work, but dont miss out on time to play and time to pray.
I am Fr. Ifeanyichukwu Henry Nwokoro, CSsR. I am your fellow child of God and this is my way of sharing my daily reflections with you. Please feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or question. Let everything that lives and that breathes give praise to the Lord.
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