Slow Down, Sunday Moments by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

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16th Sunday Ordinary Time

The story is told about a parishioner and the pastor who were playing golf. It was a very close match. At the last hole, the pastor missed a crucial shot, but he just frowned, bit his lip, shook his head and said nothing. The parishioner looked at him and sighed: “Pastor, that is the most profane silence I have ever heard!”

In today’s Gospel (Lk.10, 38-42) Martha was disturbed by her sister Mary’s silence and “idleness” and complained to Jesus about it. Busy and “productive” people have the tendency to frown upon or even look down on the quiet, the timid, and the mediocre. Are you one of them?

Two quotations: “Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit” (Desiderata); “shallow rivers make a lot of noise.” There is value in being quiet and being still. Let us all learn to respect, and even learn from people who do not say much, who in the eyes of this fast and busy world, do not matter much. But they do. They definitely do! As Desiderata also says: “Even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.”

Please remember and keep remembering that we are worth not for what we have, nor for what we do, but for who we are. If we become pragmatic and practical, then there is no place for the old, the sick, the bums, the addicts, the infirm and the unproductive in this world. The worth of every person is: “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son.” (Jn. 3, 16)

Anxious and worried about so many things? Anxious and worried about so many people as well? Naturally. But, “seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given unto you” (Matthew 6:36). Again, we have to learn to entrust everything and everyone to our God and not to give in to anxiety and worry. We just do our best, and to God we leave the rest.

For those who are so work-oriented to the point of having indispensability complex, please remember that God, more often than not, works not so much because of us, but in spite of us.

Are you a Martha or a Mary? Whether you are a Martha or a Mary, the bottom line is humility. Marthas who pride themselves with work and achievements can become “MARTARAY.” Marys who pride themselves in being prayerful and holy can become “MARYABANG.”

Coming from one who got sick of cancer last year, my humble suggestion to friends and people who care to listen is: Slow down and pray more. It’s okay to go from the fast lane to the slow lane, or even to make a stop. And it’s okay, very okay, to go down from your pedestal, and go down on your knees.

In the thick of the grindsparks and the flashbulbs, don’t miss the candleglow.

May we have little or no regrets in the end that we did not listen to God enough because we were too busy listening to ourselves, to our own agenda, to the applause of the crowd.

We are all just passing by. Nobody stays on top forever. Seen now, soon out of sight. Heard now, soon unheard. Idolized now, soon forgotten. Lesson? The world is a stage. We all have our entrance and our exit. Don’t forget: More than people, it is God who is our audience. Don’t be thrilled with the spotlight. Don’t be drowned with people’s adulation. Keep seeking God’s approval and applause.

Think about this: “God has perfect timing; don’t be in a hurry; don’t be impatient; let God do it His way; He has a timetable for all of our hearts’ desires; be still, and wait; everything will fall into place.”

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to talk less, and slow down. Amen.

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