Thursday, December 17, 2015

Try Hard to Come Before Winter

Action is better than guilt or shame
Say hello to Prisca and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus because of his illness. Try hard to come to me before winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters say hello. II Timothy 4: 19-21 CEB

You will never look back and regret that you were too present to a frail and failing parent, grandparent, or friend. You will never wish you hadn't attended your daughter's recital or your son's little league game. You will never wish you hadn't served the Sacrament to a senior friend in hospice.

The plea from St. Paul to his younger friend and partner in ministry, Timothy, is one that echoes down the centuries to counter our lack of urgency and timeliness: "Come to me before winter." Paul was staring at his impending end, and a last visit with Timothy could not be put off until better traveling weather permitted.

There are some things we can choose. We learn to do what is in our power to do. Harold Kushner writes, "Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you."

God is not especially honored by our guilt nor shame. "Father, I am not worthy to be called... treat me as one of your slaves." Luke 15: 19. Who in your life needs you to "come before winter?" They don't need guilt or apologies. They need you.




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