3rd Lent [C] 2001

Fr. Charles Irvin

Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12; Luke 13:1-9

Satan sat upon his Throne of Eternal Pain in a frustrated fury. The number of souls harvested from earth and now in hell was down. There was no accounting for his loss is effectiveness. In previous depressions such as this he had assembled his minions together for a general meetings for an open debate on what to do. Perhaps this exchange of ideas would produce a better way of capturing human souls away from God.

Devil after devil arose in the meeting in great pride propose an effectively and attractive solution. Some ideas were good but would work only with limited groups of humans. A more general solution was needed – something really big. Growing gloomy Satan sat there on his throne glowering at his assembled devils when we spotted one of his oldest servants slowing rising in the back. The other devils began to take notice and the room grew deathly quiet.

“So, Old One, you have something to offer?” boomed Satan. “Sire,” the grizzled old devil replied, “if you want to seduce and capture more souls for hell, just whisper in their ears that they have plenty of time to repent and get things right with God.”

Thinking we have enough time left to do whatever we want is one of our great problems. Just consider the fact that we have time saving and labor saving devices as never before known in human history, and have diminishing amounts of time to do all that we want to do. What a paradox!

Do you think you have a lot of time to do what you need to do? Take a look this newspaper. These Daimler-Chrysler workers were given notice that they were fired, given a cardboard box and told that they had five minutes to clear out their personal possessions. Security guards then escorted them out of the places of work. It all happened in just moments of time.

The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, about whom you just heard in today’s gospel account, was swift and brutal in his actions against the Galileans. The tower that was a part of the walls of Jerusalem fell suddenly and without notice. Earthquakes strike without prior notice and last but only moments. A three-minute earthquake is considered to be very long in time. Driving out on I-94 we can suddenly and without warning come upon “black ice” and find ourselves in a catastrophic accident in the blinking of an eye.

Lent will be over and Easter upon us in a very short period of time. And when death comes to us…? We will wonder what happened to all of the time we had to spend some moments with God in prayer, or joining together in Christ in Holy Mass.

Do not think I am trying here to scare you. I’m not. I’m simply trying to put you in touch with reality. We will run out of time… all of us. And it’s certain that the Father of Lies will try to seduce you yet again. Don’t let him. Spend more time now with God!

About Charles Irvin

Fr. Charlie was ordained a priest June 3, 1967 and has served as pastor of St. Mary Student Chapel in Ann Arbor, founded Holy Spirit parish in Hamburg, MI, served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish in Ann Arbor and was pastor of St. Mary parish in Manchester, MI when he entered Senior Priest status in 2001. In 1999 he was appointed Founding Editor of FAITH Magazine which has grown into Faith Catholic Publishing located in Lansing, MI. He is now very active in his “retirement.”