7 August, Sunday — Procrastination vs Eagerness

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wis 18:6-9
Heb 11:1-2,8-19

Lk 12:32-48

“See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit…You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Do you ever procrastinate? I am not proud of it, but I am the worst kind of procrastinator there is out there. 

Procrastination. Sounds like an innocuous word that does no harm. Then ponder the synonyms of procrastination: doubt, incertitude, indecisiveness, aversion, disinclination, indisposition, hesitancy, indecision, faintheartedness, wavering, shilly-shallying (love saying this one). Not exactly endearing qualities if seen under that light, is it?

Much to my chagrin, I must admit that I am the worst kind of procrastinator. When there is a task that I dislike, deemed unimportant or too difficult, I tend to put it off until I can no longer delay the inevitable. That often lands me in the most stressful situations; all of my own doing. Yet, I still have not learned my lesson to not repeat the same mistake.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns us to always be ready, to be on guard. “For what?”, you may ask. For the coming of the Son of Man. He tells of a parable of a servant who knows what his master wants, but does not start to carry out those wishes, delaying the tasks until his master’s arrival; his punishment would be more severe than the servant who does not know his master’s wishes. Before focusing on the negative, focus on the positive. For the servant who is found waiting diligently for his master, the master will reward the servant greatly and, in turn, wait on the servant!

How many times in our lives, have we known, perhaps deep in our hearts, what God would like us to do? How would He want us to behave or treat others? How many times, have we said to ourselves that “oh, this isn’t important; God will understand and forgive; surely He doesn’t mean this; or I will behave differently next time”? In our hearts, we always think that there is a ‘next time’. But let’s not kid ourselves — even when next time comes along, we would probably behave the same way; believing that there will be another next time.

Faith, in its essence, is engaging in a deep personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. In any meaningful relationship, would we really behave in such a manner? Would we treat anyone we treasure with such callousness and indecisiveness? Would we take the other person for granted and expect that our insincere behaviour will not damage our relationship? I think we all know the answer to these questions; but, we kid ourselves by thinking that tomorrow, I will change. As the saying goes, tomorrow never comes. Let us change our behaviours, practice what our Lord and our Christian faith teaches us, in great ways and small; let us start today and not tomorrow. Let us get ready today. For tomorrow, the Son of Man may come and find our lamps unlit and us not dressed for action.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)

Prayer: Dear Lord, please grant us the strength and grace to be fit and ready for the coming of Your kingdom. 

Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank you for Your mercy. Even though we are not ready, You offer us chances and opportunities to become Your children again.

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