This week I have a few questions for all of us to ponder...
How many of you have had a crazy week ?
How many of you got frustrated ?
How many of you lost power ?
Don’t worry I'm not going to ask those who didn’t lose power to raise their hands.
One lady told me...
“Father I almost feel guilty because I never lost power”,
I heard of another lady who pretended she didn’t have electricity because everyone else in her office lost theirs and they were upset.
How many of you still don’t have power?
How many of you received a call from one our High School Kids checking up on you?
We have great kids here in Berlin.. As I wrote in the bulletin Tuesday two of our High School Kids made 573 calls... they called and checked on every household with some one 80 or older....incredible.
How many of you just want life to get back to normal ?
I have come to understand in my own life that when things get tough, when some or many of my comforts are stripped away, when life throws me a challenge or 2 or 10, I really see what I’m made of.
And I think that this rings true for everyone.
When life throws us a challenge we really see what we are all made of... as individuals, as a family, as a parish, and even as a town or state.
When life throws us a challenge or challenges we learn how well we really are prepared to carry them.
The Gospel today tells us the story of the 10 Bridesmaids or virgins... five were prepared for the arrival of the groom even if he came late and five were not prepared...
And when the moment of crisis came and they were running out of oil the five foolish or unprepared bridesmaids were not able to get their act together soon enough to be admitted into the wedding.
The difficult circumstances that many of us have faced this week and how we reacted to them should give us pause.
It’s important that we reflect on this week and see how well we were prepared.
All of us should ask ourselves if were we prepared with the supplies we needed to weather the storm, (no pun intended,) and how could we have been better prepared.
But even more important this past week should cause us all to stop and ask ourselves....
How did we respond personally to this crisis?
Were we calm or did we get testy when some of our conveniences were taken away... ?
By the way the conveniences we lost were things that many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world may not even regularly enjoy.
Perhaps the most important question we need to ask ourselves is this...
Were we completely self absorbed or were we able to think beyond ourselves and our own problems during the storm?
During this week of sacrifice and difficulties did we think of others ?
Did we call anyone or walk down the street and check on anyone ?
When we got our lights back or if we never lost them did we welcome anyone into our home?
Did we send warm food to anyone without a gas stove?
Did we look after anyone who was not a member of our family ?
If we failed to do even one of these things then not only weren’t we prepared physically for the storm but most importantly we were not prepared spiritually.
If we failed to do any of these good deeds it means that like the foolish virgins or bridesmaids we were not prepared to answer when love called.
You know I’m ashamed to say if something happened and I needed to run a mile right now I would probably fall flat on my face or die of heart attack.
I am not prepared to run even a mile, as much as I would want to run it I just wouldn’t be able.
But if I started running a little ever day
(easier said then done)..
If I walked then ran and walked then ran slowly but surely I could probably get up to a mile or more...
It’s the same way with the practice of virtue...
Like I can’t expect to run a mile today
We just can’t expect to be generous all of a sudden if you don’t practice being generous every day of your life.
If we don’t practice being generous then when when the storms hit,
when the wires fall,
when we are left in the dark and cold and someone needs us we won’t even be able to respond with a generous heart.
Like the foolish virgins we will not be prepared...
A very wise man told me never waste a good crisis
Let us all make this past storm a moment of grace,
if we need to be better prepared with supplies and if we need our hearts to be more practiced in generosity let’s begin now
For we all know that someday in the not too distant future love will call gain and we will be better prepared to respond with a generous heart.
While we have time
Let us do good.