Fr. Francis Scaria

Smiley face Everything seems to be shaky in our world of today. We have alliances of convenience. Political parties form alliances and break alliances. Countries form alliances that last only for a while. It has affected even marriages. Today many couples do not like to commit themselves to each other in a permanent bond of marriage. They prefer to form temporary alliances for cohabitation and pleasure. The man and woman stay together as long as they like and when they find it difficult to pull on, they part their ways. They do not like to rectify or repair their alliances to last longer, as they do not attach any importance to perseverance and permanence. Greater pleasure, greater profit, a change, a novelty – all these are cited as reasons for forging new alliances foregoing the old.

It is in this world of Shifting sand that our lasting commitment to God becomes very challenging. The five wise virgins of Jesus’ parable tell us that it is not enough that our lamps are be burning but there should be plenty of oil in reserve. The delay may be trying for us and trying to get the oil at the eleventh hour can cost us all that we have been eagerly waiting for. All the ten virgins had planned to meet the bridegroom and they set out for the same. Half of them failed to count the cost (cf. Mt 25:1-13).

Lasting commitment involves waiting. In our world of fast-food, no one likes to wait and waiting involves patience. Impatient waiting is a contradiction in terms. But the nature itself shows the normalcy of waiting. The farmer needs to wait for the seed to sprout, to grow, produce fruit, and become mature. The process cannot be cut short. The parents wait nine months for the baby to arrive. Premature delivery can be very risky not only for the child, but also for the mother. Waiting is inbuilt in the nature. What about waiting on God? Prophet Elijah had to wait for the storm, earthquake and the fire to pass before he could meet the Lord in the “sound of sheer silence” (1 Kgs 19:12). It is thought-provoking to see that Psalm 40 begins with the claim “I waited patiently for the Lord, he inclined to me and heard my cry” and ends with the plea before the Lord, “do not delay, O my God”. Let us listen to the wisdom of the Psalmist who says, “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him” (Ps 37:7).

MUSINGS : 1-25, 26-50, 51-75

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