The priest in the parish I visited today gave a good sermon. He did not totally ignore today’s readings but he did venture out in a couple of different directions. He made himself somewhat vulnerable by asking people whom he might have offended in his 6-month temporary role as pastor to forgive him. He said that priests are human and he was not yet a saint.
We all are very much human and therefore not yet saints. In today’s Gospel, Christ invites us to stay the course and not look back. When you plough a field by hand, you cannot be distracted. You must give your full attention to the task at hand. If you look back, you will veer off course. I have thought about these two concepts since this morning. Our lives are lived in the present moment. We can look back with pride or regret but ultimately we should not dwell there. That time is done. If we have behaved more like humans than saints, we should forgive ourselves and keep moving forward, striving to do better. If we have acted more like saints than humans, give thanks for that grace and continue to make strides in that direction.
My time away has had moments of reminiscing and mostly the stories have been fabulous. What a blessing to look back over life and feel satisfied with many snapshots of life captured in memories! Equally as important has been to continue to create new memories with joy and laughter. What fun! Memories may also fade at one point. Tonight as I reflect on these words from the Gospel I hear St. Ignatius: Give me only your love and your grace; these are enough. My hand must be on the plough with my eyes forward No turning back for me! I must one ever forward, onward, and upward.
As you do your Examen tonight, were you more of a human or a saint this day?
What distraction keeps you from moving forward?
Keep me eyes ever on you, Jesus. Do not let me be distracted by either past accolades or regrets. Instead help me to live fully this moment as I am–sometimes human, occasionally saint. All for you, sweet Jesus; all for you. Amen.