In the past two weeks, we have seen a 7.5 earthquake ravage Turkey and Syria and leave behind its wake over 47,000 people dead. Barely three years ago, we were grounded by a deadly virus, covid-19, which left behind its path over one million brothers and sisters dead. No warnings preceded these disasters, and no one knew who would fall victim to the mayhem. Yet, this is the reality of life as we live it on earth—the uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring.
There is a fable about three apprentice devils about to be sent down to earth for their internship. They were called before Satan, the chief of the devils, to discuss their plans to tempt and ruin people en masse. The first said, "I will tell them there is no God." Satan said, "That will not delude many, for they know there is a God." The second said, "I will tell them there is no hell." Satan answered, "You will not be able to deceive many of them because they know there is hellfire for sin." The third said, "I will tell them there is no need to hurry, to take their time and merry, for there is plenty of time to take care of things." Before he could finish, Satan ordered, “Go; go immediately, for you will ruin them by the thousands."
My dear friends, tomorrow is not a promise, and so, as we embrace this Lenten Season, let us be intentional about it. Let us do what we must to live our lives in watchfulness; that is to say, to consciously keep important things in focus as we go about our daily activities. As the saying goes, “He is free from danger who, even when safe, is still on guard.” The most dangerous of all delusions is the belief that there is plenty of time. I truly believe that the most dangerous day in our lives is when we learn that there is such a word as tomorrow because procrastination is the devil’s workshop into which people’s dreams are buried.
We need to live constantly with the awareness that time is not on our side. The spirit which leads to disaster is the spirit that says there is plenty of time to make things right. We cannot put off certain things because tomorrow is not a promise. One such thing is our relationship with God, with our neighbor, and with the self.
Scripture says that the things that defile us come from the inside, from the heart. So, during this Lent, let us target our fast on things like procrastination, worrying, anger, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, feelings of malice, hatred, wrath, slander, gossip, judging others, bearing false witness, feelings of regrets, self-pity, misery, apathy; and all other forms of evil thoughts and immorality.
Let us go on and live life while we can! Let our eyes see the best, our words edify the soul, our hearts forgive the worst, our minds forget the bad, our spirits celebrate the good, our thoughts engaged in gratitude, our attitude lifted in spirit, and our hopes anchored in the Lord. Let us stand up for what is right, for what is just, and for what is fair. We should not allow anyone to drag us into the pit of useless arguments, fights, quarrels, negativity, and debasement. Let us be reconciled with God, with our neighbor, and with ourselves. Let us let go, let God, and get going. Today is all we have. I wish us all a very productive and salvific Lent.