READINGS : 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
The first reading on this 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Times begins with this statement: “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch” (Isaiah 61:1). Here the prophet is saying that he will not give up and that nothing will stop him from achieving a determined result—the vindication of Jerusalem. This is what I call commitment to a cause—the determination to pursue a goal, a dream, an objective with a consistent, persistent, and unyielding spirit. My friends, the most important element in the success equation is personal commitment to keep trying, to keep at it, until the result is achieved.
We all, hopefully, have goals in Life; the things we want; things that we would like to achieve, and things that we would like to become. Truth be told, though, no dream becomes reality through magic; it is always a combination of commitment, determination, hard work, and I would like to add prayer in there. Generally speaking, life is very unforgiving and doesn’t have much in stock for anyone who wants to sit on the fence and live life on the margins. Scripture says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; so, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). We are not equipped to live life with an uncommitted spirit. The choices we have made either commit us to mediocrity or commit us to greatness. We are either in or out! Usually, success in life is not an accident of history; it is mostly the result of a committed life; staying loyal and on point to what we said we are going to do, long after the mood in which we said it has passed. On the other hand, failure is usually not as a result of lack of desire as it is more related to lack of commitment. The difference between being involved and being committed can be seen in the difference between ham and eggs. When it comes to eggs, the chicken is involved; but when it comes to ham, the pig is committed. Commitment is about total involvement; accepting no excuses; only results. This is why it is difficult for us to achieve that which we are not committed to.
Commitment is about making little choices, every day, along the path of our dream that eventually cumulates to produce the desired result. Excellence in big things usually begins with related habits in little matters, as Scripture says; “The one who is faithful in little things, will also be faithful in big things”. Excellence is never an exception; it is a pervasive attitude. Whether we are working toward a healthier diet, a more active lifestyle, better relationships, reducing stress, becoming a happier person, or pursing a new career, our success starts with a commitment to ourselves to move forward and make it happen. This may entail making an unwavering commitment to free ourselves from those commitments that intimate and prevent us from moving forward; those fears and inhibiting challenges that prevent us from achieving our goals; and sometimes, committing to things that people around us, the “Nay Sayers”, may disapprove of. Bottom-line, the success of our life is the fruit of our commitment to it. The only one that holds that key is you! May the good Lord grant us the grace for such endeavor, Amen!