What’s your excuse? We hear urgent words in the Scriptures. Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of Salvation! But for us, or at least for me, often it is not. I have excuses. “I cannot pray now because I have to get this done.” “I am too busy to help that person today.” “I cannot make time to hear this person’s story, because they will go on and on.” “I cannot accept the invitation of Jesus, because, well, I have decided there are too many other “important” things to do.”
I have excuses. I have excuses to avoid doing and being what God calls me to do and to be. I hide. I run away. I do not listen. I work hard to make sure I do not have that silence and quiet and stillness that might actually enable me to hear. And as election day has arrived, I also know something else. Just as the ads blast at me, I too am more likely to blame others for my failures.
A recent study I read not too long ago concluded that we, almost all of us, only read those sources of news and other things with which we agree. People who agree with Fox News are more likely to watch Fox News, and associate with others who watch Fox News. People who agree with MSNBC are more likely to watch MSNBC and to associate with others who watch MSNBC. More than once, on Facebook, that “incredible waste of time” according to Betty White (most of the time she is quite right), I have found that people draw conclusions about an event that are not true, because they have chosen to get information about this from a highly biased source.
I do this too. I do not always seek to gather multiple perspectives, and there I times when I take something I have read at its word because I already thought that anyway. And on a day like today, I am tempted not to vote, since I have become more than a little cynical of the political process. I guess I feel that little will change regardless of the outcome.
But does not that mean that I am making excuses in the same way the people in the parable Jesus tells today made excuses? Isn’t it simply shortsighted faith that suggests that God cannot over come the hardened heart? Either I believe the Holy Spirit is in charge of the Church, is the driver of the Kingdom of God, that Christ will be with the Church always, so that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it or I do not. And too often I do not.
I think the time for excuses must be over. Jesus invites us to this tremendous banquet, and we must say yes! Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of Salvation! All those other things I think are more important? God will provide. God will decide. God will provide the grace that things will get accomplished. There really is never anything more important than the invitation of God and now is the time to accept.