Here we are again at the start of another year. Have those resolutions gone by the wayside yet? Nowadays, the weeks and months go by so quickly; we find ourselves running out of the time we need just to keep up with our daily routines and demands. As the saying goes: Time and tide wait for no one.
Thankfully, God patiently waits for us. With that in mind, I would like to share a little story: My father was an agnostic for most of his life. It wasn’t until he retired at 73 that he embraced his Catholic faith. He attended Mass every day with my mother, prayed the Rosary, went to Bible study, joined the Church choir, and became an active member of the local parish council. One day I asked him: “Dad, what are you doing, why the change?” He replied: “I’m cramming for my final exam.”
For the remainder of his life, my father shared his faith and love for Jesus Christ with those around him until he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. Even when he was diagnosed, he did not turn away from God. Instead he held onto his Rosary and said every day, “Jesus, help me.” I think he passed his exam.
Are We Patient?
Regardless of where we are or what we are doing, God gives us the time to unite with Him. “The Lord … is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance,” according to the Second Letter of Peter [2 Peter 3:9]. The question is: Do we use the time we have to be united with God?
Like time and tide, there are those of us who tend to run out on God, particularly when events do not go our way. Or perhaps, as in my father’s case, questions tend to obstruct our willingness to accept the greatness of God’s love into our lives. Once we open ourselves to God’s love, we realize we cannot go it alone. “Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing,” said the Lord [John 15:5].
Greatness of God’s Love
One could argue that we can exist without God, but with God there is so much more to life than what we can imagine living on our own. With God, we can abandon the fatalistic notion that we can make no difference in the world. The key is to remain in God’s love. Although baptism washes away our original sin, temptations can pull us away from God. That is why Christ came into the world—to draw us back to God by showing us the greatness of His love.
While we cannot stop the tides or passage of time, we can make our world a better place when our lives are united with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Only then, as my father realized, can we live and act in this world according to God’s will for the sake of our salvation, thereby strengthening the bonds between Heaven and earth.