God spoke: ‘At the favorable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help.’ Psalm 116:10
Jesus Christ is the verification of this Truth.
St Paul announced, through the Holy Spirit: ‘Well now is the favorable time; this is the day of salvation.’ 2 Corinthians 6:2
Bucket lists aside, there are many things we, as disciples of Jesus, can, and must, do during our last days. Yet before we can speak of the many necessary things we must realize that all of us, young or old, healthy or infirmed, faithful or struggling to be faithful, rich or poor, male or female, powerful or obscure, of all ethnicities and races, no matter the seeming difference, live a life which blesses us with each day, but guarantees no tomorrow.
Therefore, ‘now is the favorable time, now is the day of salvation.’
Many of us are, rightly, very busy with family responsibilities and carry burdens in our workplace which serve legitimate purposes in society. And we are certainly not sinful when we spend time relaxing and re-energizing after a long day’s work. Yet, the truth is that we live self-convinced that there will be plenty of tomorrows on the horizon so we tend to put off things for tomorrow which should be embraced today.
Society, made up of many people of other faiths, and no faith at all, looks at things a little differently. Particularly for the non-believers, there is no salvation, therefore no favorable time, no special day for the Lord. Subsequently, there is no sense of urgency to spread the gospel, to defend the dignity of human life, to defend religious freedom, to defend Traditional Marriage, to live a life in the Image and Likeness of God. None of this is possible because there is no God to Image, no gospel to defend, no definition of human life–pertaining to its start and its finish, no religion worth defending, and no sacrament attached to marriage. Consequently, there is no face of Jesus in the poor, no Spirit in spirituality, and no objectivity in choices on morality and ethics.
Society floats in a boat with no rudder, no anchor, and no sail, without an ultimate destination planned. When all is said and done, it is one big party boat headed to nowhere.
So if today is the day of salvation what are we to do?
We can carve out time to pray today, everyday, as if its the last day. We can pray for our enemies as much as we pray for ourselves. We can pray for the dearly departed, the souls in purgatory, and for the Church in the midst of the world. But most of all, we can repent of our sins, and praise God for His Loving Mercy.
We can find 10 measly minutes for Jesus in a weekly visit to the Eucharist in adoration. We can talk to Him face to face. We can return to confession, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and become the Prodigal Son, wrapped in the robe of sanctifying grace. We can find one hour every Sunday to receive the Eucharistic Jesus into our lives, sharing Him in our lives with others. We can pick up a book, maybe even The Book, and do some soul-healing reading every day…even for just 20 minutes.
We can pay attention to what is going on in our world. We can prepare ourselves for the coming elections with ‘the Bible in one hand and the news in another.’ We can vote as Catholics, avoiding party politics and rhetorical pandering. We can vote Pro-Life, Pro-Religious Freedom, Pro-Traditional Marriage, and we can choose the candidate which best represents the gospel message of Jesus.
We can become more discerning of what enters our sight, our hearing, our touch, our taste, and our smell. Pornography must go. Violent messages, anti-Christian ideologies, and human cheapening messages must be turned off, deleted, blocked, and avoided at all costs. Garbage in, garbage out. We must eat less, spend less, and share more.
Finally, we must stop preaching exclusively to the choir. For we must bear witness to Christ in the public square. We must not be ashamed of Jesus–so He won’t be ashamed of us on Judgment Day. We must speak ‘Catholic’ to militant atheists, to apathetic agnostics, to cafeteria Christians of all denominations. We must defend the faith without offending, spread the gospel without being imperialistic of our own style, reunify all of Christianity without being the sole source of Christ, and we must learn to suffer. For suffering is guaranteed.
If we do just a pinch of all these things the day of salvation is today. Not just for us but, in mystery, for a few of the people we interacted with today.