Fr Noel's Homilies

Buzzword - Lost Opportunities
Our readings today invite us to think of the lost opportunities in our lives.

Exodus 3: 1-8, 13-15: Moses, plodding along content with his happy domestic situation, only to be challenged to accept a higher mission.

1 Cor. 10: 1-6, 10-12: Despite their heritage and their conversion, Paul tells his new converts that they must not presume salvation -"the man who thinks he is safe must be careful that he does not fall".

Luke 13: 1-9: The parable of the fig tree tells its own story - God'€™s mercy may allow us second chances, but, sooner or later, there is the "last" chance.

Point 1: One of the facts of life‚‚  many frequently attempt to ignore is that time is constantly passing by. We may pretend‚‚  we do not feel any older and, wrongly, conclude that we are not! We may forget birthdays, or ignore them! We may even attempt to present that most dismal of presentations - "mutton done up as lamb" by not acting our age. However we attempt to fool ourselves, the fact remain that times flies and so does life with its opportunities -"Four things come not back - the spoken word, the sped arrow, time past and neglected opportunity" (Omar Ibn Al-Halif).

Point 2: Many shy away from this thought. And so, here we are already half way through Lent and the Church wants us to review our situations. We are being asked to seize the opportunities that come our way and not to fool ourselves into thinking that there is always tomorrow. This could be the last Lent in our lives, or only one more in a long series to come. Whatever! We do not have forever to accept God'€™s offer. This theme of false security is dealt with in each of the readings that have just been read -(Scripture notes). It is time to ask ourselves - what happened to all those splendid dreams, so few of which have come true?

Conclusion: So far during Lent we have been asked to see these weeks as opportunities for new growth in our spiritual attitudes. The very word "Lent" is an old English word meaning "Spring" - a season invariably associated with new growth after the long, cold months of winter. To achieve this growth, pruning is frequently required. The need for such pruning is particularly felt when dealing with temptation. But the real scope for new growth is present in the opportunities for goodness that life offers us. Today'€™s message is that we do not have forever to prove ourselves. God is prepared to allow us to delay a little, to make excuses for a time; to let us point to the many other demands made upon us; but, there is a "cut-off" point - just as with the fig tree of today'€™s parable. The punch line is that whatever time we have - no matter how much we have - it is comparatively short and then it will be a case of "by our fruits, we will be known".

Scriptural reference: "Yet it is a great affliction for man that he is ignorant of what to come ... there is no man who is master of the breath of life so as to retain it; and none has mastery of the day of death". (Ecclesiasticus 8: 6-8)