“If you were charged today with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
I remember being struck by this question; the first time I heard it phrased this way was reading a brief biography of former US President Jimmy Carter and a question which guided the course of his life and the importance of his Christian faith in his life. It’s a good and important question for us all to consider. Would there be the evidence to convict us, if we were charged with being Christian? Sadly, there are many days that I think that there would not be the evidence to convict me of being Christian. So, if you can answer this question as I do sometimes, “there’s not enough evidence…” then what are we doing about it? The great thing about being Christian is that we are a reconciled people and we know by faith the Lord gives us each day as another chance to get it right – if we try!
We don’t wait for another time or another day to try. When I was beginning to seriously discern my own vocation to the priesthood, I was really dragging my heels on making a decision. I thought about continuing to just live my life with comfort and complacency, retiring at 52 from my career at Mississauga Transit and maybe then, the priesthood. It was my mother, from her hospital bed who spoke to me as Jesus does in today’s Gospel. “Yeah, you can wait, but should you? Don’t live your life with regret for not having done what you’re meant to do.” She was less than a week away from her own death at 52. That was perhaps one of the greatest wake-up calls I’d ever be given, and something I think of to this very day.
I begin my own day in prayer, asking God to give me the courage, strength and insight to see where and how I can give witness to being a Christian today, each and every day and then I try. While I convict myself of the times I’m not much of a Christian – every day, every moment of the day is a time to begin again.!
And there must be a sense of urgency and desire to want to begin again. There must! Failure to have been a Christian cannot be the cause for us not to try! We cannot shrink away from trying our best always. Today’s Gospel offers us this to reflect upon. What are we doing with the gifts we’ve been given? Are we storing them up and waiting for some future time? Are we waiting for a “tomorrow” that may never come? Are we waiting for things to get better, brighter, and more conducive to what we want of the world? And if so, what would happen if today were our last day in this world? Would we have done what we’ve been called to do…or would we regret that we hadn’t?