Today is the Day. Seize the Day.

Homily for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
September 30 and October 1, 2017
Sacred Heart, EGF – 5:00 PM
Holy Trinity, Tabor – 8:00 AM; St. Francis of Assisi, Fisher: 10:00 AM

Focus:               Today is the day.
Function:         Seize the day!


cats in the cradle

Two sons.
One call.

Two answers.
Two responses.

Son, go out and work in my vineyard today.

“I don’t want to.”
“I do enough already.”
“I’m scared.”
“I have other things to do.”
“I’m too busy.”
“I don’t want to work that hard.”
“Someone else can do it, it’s not my job.”
“Other people can take care of it.”

Son, go out and work in my vineyard today.
I will not.

Two sons.
One call.

Two answers.
Two responses.

Son, go out and work in my vineyard today.

“Sure, Dad, right after this TV show is done.”
“I will Mom, just give me a minute.”
“I will as soon as things slow down at work.”

Son, go out and work in my vineyard today.
Yes, sir.

Brothers and sisters, like the two sons in today’s Gospel, we given the invitation every day to work in the vineyard. What is our response?

Is it the response of the first son, who said “No” but then changed his mind and went?
Or is it the response of the second son, who said “Yes” but never went?

The Lord gives us the invitation to follow him every day. The Lord cares about what we do with today’s invitation.  He’s not interested in what we did with yesterday’s invitation.  He’s interested in what we will do with today’s invitation.

When someone turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.

It is because he gave up his opportunity today. He had the freedom that virtue gives – he had the good habits that he needed and he freely chose to turn away from them to sin.  He failed to seize the day.

But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, he does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins he has committed.

It is because he worked to overcome his enslavement to sin. His freedom was lacking because of the vice that had him enslaved, and he freely chose to turn away from that sin.  He seized the day.

The Lord extends his invitation every day. He’s not interested in how we’ve responded to the invitation in the past.  He cares about today.

Today is the day.

Today is the day to pray.
Today is the day to serve.
Today is the day to turn off the TV and spend time with your family.
Today is the day to examine your conscience and make a decision to confess your sins if you’ve been putting it off.
Today is the day to make a decision to combat the vice you struggle with by cultivating the opposite virtue.
Today is the day to make a gift of yourself to others.
Today is the day to repent, to turn around, to make a radical change in your life.
Today is the day to not give in, to not give up. Today is the day to continue to seek His grace in times of temptation, to persevere in your pursuit of virtue.

Today is the day you’ve been given.

Today is the day.

Seize the day.

Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Delay not your conversion to the Lord, put it not off from day to day.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not yet here.
The only time we have is today. Make the most of it.

I’m reminded of the famous song by Harry Chapin:

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say, I’m gonna be like you, dad
You know I’m gonna be like you

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you coming home, dad?
I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, thanks for the ball, dad, come on let’s play
Can you teach me to throw, I said, not today
I got a lot to do, he said, that’s okay
And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed
Said, I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
Son, I’m proud of you
Can you sit for a while?
He shook his head, and he said with a smile
What I’d really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later
Can I have them please?

I’ve long since retired and my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, I’d like to see you if you don’t mind
He said, I’d love to, dad, if I could find the time
You see, my new job’s a hassle, and the kid’s got the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you coming home, son?
I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

The Lord continually calls us, he invites us, he urges us.

Go and work in my vineyard today.

TODAY, brothers and sisters, today.

Can you hear his call?

Today is the day.

Seize the day.

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